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The Saving Glut Explanation of Global Imbalances: the Role of Underinvestment

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  • Flavia Corneli

Abstract

According to the “Saving Glut hypothesis”, global imbalances are caused by inefficiently high level of precautionary savings in financially underdeveloped regions, where agents have limited opportunity to diversify idiosyncratic risk. This paper generalizes the approach by modeling idiosyncratic risk in entrepreneurial activities, which can be only partially hedged. As a result, agents save too much and invest too little, relative to the efficient allocation, depressing production activities and the real interest rate. Capital account liberalization towards financially more advanced economies then produces an outflow of capital in search of safer investment, with the effect of further reducing domestic investment in countries with poor financial institutions. The model predicts welfare losses for less financially developed economies, and an increase in wealth inequality for advanced economies. Finally, the present analysis is able to explain the direct link between the financial crisis and global recession and the long run implications of worsening financial conditions on countries’ net external positions.

Suggested Citation

  • Flavia Corneli, 2009. "The Saving Glut Explanation of Global Imbalances: the Role of Underinvestment," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/41, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/41
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alessandra Fogli & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "The Great Moderation and the U.S. External Imbalance," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 24(S1), pages 209-225, December.
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    3. Oriana Bandiera & Gerard Caprio & Patrick Honohan & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2000. "Does Financial Reform Raise or Reduce Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 239-263, May.
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    5. Bonfiglioli, Alessandra, 2008. "Financial integration, productivity and capital accumulation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 337-355, December.
    6. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
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    11. George-Marios Angeletos, 2007. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Aggregate Saving," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 1-30, January.
    12. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "On the Welfare Implications of Financial Globalization without Financial Development," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 283-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Maik Heinemann & Alexander Wulff, 2015. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Financial Integration - A Discussion of Ambiguous Results," Working Papers 2015019, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    2. Cacciatore, Matteo & Ghironi, Fabio & Stebunovs, Viktors, 2015. "The domestic and international effects of interstate U.S. banking," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 171-187.
    3. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2013. "External Adjustment, Global Imbalances and Valuation Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn & John Hassler & Gilles Saint-Paul & Giancarlo Corsetti & Michael P. Devereux & Tim Jenkinson & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2009. "Chapter 2: The Financial Crisis," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 59-122, February.
    5. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2014. "External Adjustment, Global Imbalances, Valuation Effects," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Flavia Corneli, 2017. "Medium and long term implications of financial integration without financial development," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1120, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Wulff, Alexander & Heinemann, Maik, 2015. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Financial Integration - A Discussion of Ambiguous Results," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113165, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Current Account; Financial Markets; Heterogeneity; Incomplete Markets; International Capital Movements;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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