Capital flows among the G-7 nations: a demographic perspective
The standard life-cycle model of consumption behavior predicts that a household's age will influence its saving behavior. Moreover, simple national accounting identities reveal that a country's current account balance reflects its savings-investment imbalance. Thus, differences in national age-profiles should affect the current account. To test this theory's plausibility and significance, I simulate a multi-region overlapping generations model that is calibrated to match the demographic differences among the major industrialized countries over the past 50 years. In the model, it is found that these differences can explain some of the observed long-term capital movements in the G-7. In particular, the model does a good job of predicting the size and timing of American current account deficits as well as Japanese current account surpluses.
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