IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Asian financial crisis, uphill flow of capital, and global imbalances: evidence from a micro study

  • Brahima Coulibaly
  • Jonathan Millar
Registered author(s):

    This study assesses the role of the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s in the emergence and persistence of the large current account surpluses across non-China emerging Asia, which have been a significant counterpart to the U.S. current account deficit. Using panel data encompassing nearly 3,750 firms, we trace the current account surpluses to a marked and broad-based decline in corporate expenditures on fixed investment in the aftermath of the crisis that cuts across a wide spectrum of countries, industries, and firms. The lower corporate spending in turn depressed aggregate investment rates, widened the saving-investment gap, and allowed the region to turn into a net exporter of capital. We then consider the factors behind this reduction in postcrisis corporate investment. While weaker firm-level fundamentals in the postcrisis period seem to explain part of the drop in investment rates, ongoing re-structuring owing to large debts accumulated and excess investment undertaken in the run-up to the crisis has been the main source of restraint postcrisis corporate investment. The results suggest that even after a decade, the effect of the financial crisis is still affecting corporate investment decisions in emerging Asia, and that as the restructuring completes its course, investment rates will likely rise to contribute to a gradual reduction in the region's current account surpluses.

    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

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 942.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:942
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    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. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg, 1993. "Evidence on the role of cash flow for investment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-7, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt4f63x50j, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "Direct investment, rising real wages and the absorption of excess labor in the periphery," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    4. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    5. Fazzari, Steven M & Athey, Michael J, 1987. "Asymmetric Information, Financing Constraints, and Investment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 481-87, August.
    6. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 11996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Takatoshi Ito, 1999. "Capital Flows in Asia," NBER Working Papers 7134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Takatoshi Ito, 2000. "Capital Flows in Asia," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 255-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Menzie David Chinn & Eswar Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/46, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    11. Michael Feroli, 2003. "Capital flows among the G-7 nations: a demographic perspective," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-54, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2000. "When Capital Inflows Come to a Sudden Stop: Consequences and Policy Options," MPRA Paper 6982, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    14. Michael D. Bordo, 2005. "Historical Perspective on Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 11383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    16. Timothy Erickson & Toni M. Whited, 2000. "Measurement Error and the Relationship between Investment and q," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 1027-1057, October.
    17. 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.
    18. Andrea Ferrero, 2006. "Demographic Trends, Fiscal Policy and Trade Deficits," 2006 Meeting Papers 444, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Fazzari, Steven M & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Investment, Financing Decisions, and Tax Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 200-205, May.
    20. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
    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:fedgif:942. 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: (Kris Vajs)

    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.