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Productivity shocks, budget deficits and the current account

Author

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

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J. & Bussière, Matthieu, 2005. "Productivity shocks, budget deficits and the current account," Working Paper Series 509, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:2005509
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    budget deficit; current account; investment; productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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