IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Merchanting and current account balances

  • Elisabeth Beusch
  • Barbara Döbeli
  • Andreas M. Fischer
  • Pinar Yesin

Merchanting is goods trade that does not cross the border of the firm's resident country. Merchanting grew strongly in the last decade in select small open economies and has become an important driver of these countries' current account. Because merchanting firms reinvest their earnings abroad to expand their international activities, this practice raises national savings in the home country without increasing domestic investment. This results in a significantly large current account surplus. To show the empirical links between merchanting and the current account, two exercises are performed in this paper. The first exercise estimates the savings impact of merchanting countries in empirical models of the medium-term current account and shows that merchanting indeed increases the current account. The second exercise shows that merchanting's impact on the country's current account is sensitive to firm mobility.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper with number 140.

in new window

Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:140
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Steven T Phillips & Luis Catão & Luca A Ricci & Rudolfs Bems & Mitali Das & Julian Di Giovanni & Filiz D Unsal & Marola Castillo & Jungjin Lee & Jair Rodriguez & Mauricio Vargas, 2013. "The External Balance Assessment (EBA) Methodology," IMF Working Papers 13/272, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Richard Paap & Frank Kleibergen, 2004. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 195, Econometric Society.
  3. Chinn,M.D. & Ito,H., 2005. "What matters for financial development? : capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Jaewoo Lee & Jonathan David Ostry & Alessandro Prati & Luca A Ricci & Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Exchange Rate Assessments; CGER Methodologies," IMF Occasional Papers 261, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Menzie D. Chinn & Eswar S. Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 7581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  7. Cherif, Reda & Hasanov, Fuad, 2013. "Oil Exporters’ Dilemma: How Much to Save and How Much to Invest," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 120-131.
  8. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 15286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Frederick van der Ploeg & Anthony J. Venables, 2012. "Natural Resource Wealth: The Challenge of Managing a Windfall," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 315-337, 07.
  10. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2007. "Current account balances, financial development and institutions: Assaying the world "saving glut"," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 546-569, June.
  11. Jörn Kleinert & Julien Martin & Farid Toubal, 2015. "The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01306646, HAL.
  12. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2008. "Global Current Account Imbalances: American Fiscal Policy versus East Asian Savings," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 479-498, 08.
  13. Joshua Aizenman, 2007. "Large Hoarding of International Reserves and the Emerging Global Economic Architecture," NBER Working Papers 13277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Joseph Gruber & Steven Kamin, 2009. "Do Differences in Financial Development Explain the Global Pattern of Current Account Imbalances?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 667-688, 09.
  15. Simon Wren-Lewis & Rebecca Driver, 1998. "Real Exchange Rates for the Year 2000," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa54.
  16. William R. Cline & John Williamson, 2011. "Estimates of Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rates, May 2011," Policy Briefs PB11-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  17. Teresa Sastre & Francesca Viani, 2014. "Countries’ safety and competitiveness, and the estimation of current account misalignments," Working Papers 1401, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  18. Leland Crane & Meredith A. Crowley & Saad Quayyum, 2007. "Understanding the evolution of trade deficits: trade elasticities of industrialized countries," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 2-17.
  19. Bems, Rudolfs & de Carvalho Filho, Irineu, 2011. "The current account and precautionary savings for exporters of exhaustible resources," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 48-64, May.
  20. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson, 2012. "Value-Added Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 18498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances Coming Back," Working Paper Series WP11-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  22. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  23. Robert C. Johnson & Guillermo Noguera, 2012. "Fragmentation and Trade in Value Added over Four Decades," NBER Working Papers 18186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:140. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Chapman)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.