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Current account adjustment in industrialized countries

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  • Caroline L. Freund

Abstract

This paper examines the dynamics of current account adjustment among industrialized countries. We identify twenty-five episodes in which a large sustained improvement in the current account occurred between 1980 and 1997. We find that a typical current account reversal begins when the current account deficit is about 5 percent of GDP, that it is associated with slowing income growth and a 10-20 percent real exchange rate depreciation. Real export growth, declining investment, and an eventual leveling off in both the net international investment position and the budget deficit-GDP ratio are also likely to be part of the adjustment. These results suggest that current account reversals in industrialized countries are largely a function of the business cycle.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline L. Freund, 2000. "Current account adjustment in industrialized countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 692, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:692
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gian Maria Milesi Ferretti & Assaf Razin, 2000. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Chapters,in: Currency Crises, pages 285-323 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Catherine L. Mann, 1999. "Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Sustainable?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 47.
    3. Hali J. Edison, 2003. "Do indicators of financial crises work? An evaluation of an early warning system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 11-53.
    4. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
    5. Hamid Faruqee & Guy Debelle, 1996. "What Determines the Current Account? a Cross-Sectional and Panel Approach," IMF Working Papers 96/58, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Balance of payments ; Business cycles;

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