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Reducing large net foreign liabilities

Listed author(s):
  • Fidora, Michael
  • Schmitz, Martin
  • Tcheng, Céline

In light of persistently large net foreign liability NFL) positions in several euro area countries, we analyse 138 episodes of sizeable NFL reductions for a broad sample of advanced and emerging economies. We provide stylised facts on the channels through which NFLs were reduced and estimate factors which make episodes ‘stable’, i.e. sustained over the medium term. Our findings show that while GDP growth and valuation effects contribute most to NFL reductions overall, stable reduction episodes also require positive transaction effects (i.e. current account surpluses), in particular in advanced economies. Considering the different components of a country’s external balance sheet, we observe that reduction episodes were almost exclusively driven by a decline in gross external liabilities in emerging economies, while in advanced economies also gross external asset accumulation contributed significantly, in particular in stable episodes. Our econometric analysis shows that NFL reductions are more likely to be sustained if a country records strong average real GDP growth during an episode and exits the episode with a larger current account surplus. Moreover, we find evidence that nominal effective exchange rate depreciation during an episode is helpful for achieving episode stability in the short run, while IMF programmes and sovereign debt restructurings also contribute to longer term stability. JEL Classification: F21, F32, F34

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File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu//pub/pdf/scpwps/ecb.wp2074.en.pdf
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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 2074.

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Date of creation: Jun 2017
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20172074
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  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "International Financial Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 665-703, August.
  2. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep16 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Martin Schmitz, 2014. "Financial remoteness and the net external position," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(1), pages 191-219, February.
  4. S. M. Ali Abbas & Bernardin Akitoby & Jochen R. Andritzky & Helge Berger & Takuji Komatsuzaki & Justin Tyson, 2013. "Dealing with High Debt in an Era of Low Growth," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 13/7, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 67-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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