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Productivity shocks, budget deficits and the current account

  • Bussière, Matthieu
  • Fratzscher, Marcel
  • Müller, Gernot J.

Currently the U.S. is experiencing record budget and current account deficits, a phenomenon familiar from the "Twin Deficits" discussion of the 1980s. In contrast, during the 1990s productivity growth has been identified as the primary cause of the US current account deficit. We suggest a theoretical framework which allows to evaluate empirically the relative importance of budget deficits and productivity shocks for the determination of the current account. Using a sample of 21 OECD countries and time series data from 1960 to 2003 we find little evidence for a contemporaneous effect of budget deficits on the current account, while country-specific productivity shocks appear to play a key role. JEL Classification: E62, F32, F41

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0509.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050509
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