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Why foreign savings fail to cause growth


  • Gala, Paulo
  • Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser


The present paper is a formalization of the critique of the growth with foreign savings strategy that one of its authors has been doing in recent years. Although medium income countries are capital poor, current account deficits (foreign savings), financed either by loans or by foreign direct investments, will not usually increase the rate of capital accumulation or will have little impact on it in so far as current account deficits will be associated with appreciated exchange rates, artificially increased real wages and salaries and high consumption levels. In consequence, the rate of substitution of foreign savings for domestic savings will be relatively high, and the country gets indebted not to invest and grow but to consume. Only when there are large investment opportunities, stimulated by a sizeable difference between the expected profit rate and the long term interest rate, the marginal propensity to consume will get down enough so that the additional income originated from foreign capital flows will be used for investment rather than for consumption. In this special case, the rate of substitution of foreign for domestic savings tend to be small and foreign savings will contribute positively to growth.

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  • Gala, Paulo & Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser, 2008. "Why foreign savings fail to cause growth," Textos para discussão 159, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:fgv:eesptd:159

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira & Carmen Augusta Varela, 2004. "The second Washington consensus and Latin America's quasi-stagnation," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 231-250.
    2. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser & Nakano, Yoshiaki, 2002. "Economic growth with foreign saving?," Textos para discussão 118, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    3. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Catherine Pattillo & Hélène Poirson & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2011. "External Debt and Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(3).
    8. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Talvi, Ernesto, 1998. "Capital flows and saving in Latin America and Asia: a reinterpretation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 45-66, October.
    9. Cohen, Daniel, 1993. "Growth and external debt," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9302, CEPREMAP.
    10. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Webb, Steven B & Corsetti, Giancarlo, 1992. "Household Saving in Developing Countries: First Cross-Country Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 529-547, September.
    11. Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, 2002. "Brazil's Quasi-Stagnation and the Growth cum Foreign Savings Strategy," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 76-102.
    12. Coakley, Jerry & Kulasi, Farida & Smith, Ron, 1996. "Current Account Solvency and the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 620-627, May.
    13. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1995. "Capital inflows to Latin America with reference to the Asian experience," MPRA Paper 13840, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Barry Eichengreen & David Leblang, 2003. "Capital account liberalization and growth: was Mr. Mahathir right?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 205-224.
    15. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser, 2002. "Financiamento para o subdesenvolvimento, o Brasil e o segundo consenso de Washington," Textos para discussão 119, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    16. Fry, Maxwell J, 1978. "Money and Capital or Financial Deepening in Economic Development?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 10(4), pages 464-475, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser, 2008. "National development strategy: the key growth institution," Textos para discussão 161, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    2. Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira, 2010. "The global financial crisis and a new capitalism?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 499-534, July.
    3. BONGA-BONGA, Lumengo & GUMA, Nomvuyo, 2017. "The Relationship Between Savings And Economic Growth At The Disaggregated Level," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 70(1), pages 1-24.
    4. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser & Rossi, Pedro, 2014. "Sovereignty, exchange rate and the Euro crisis," Textos para discussão 371, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    5. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian, 2009. "Why Did Financial Globalization Disappoint?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 112-138, April.
    6. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser, 2009. "The global financial crisis and after: a new capitalism?," Textos para discussão 240, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    7. Pereira, Luiz C. Bresser, 2011. "Structuralist macroeconomics and new developmentalism," Textos para discussão 298, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

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