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On the solvency of nations: are global imbalances consistent with intertemporal budget constraints?

  • Ceyhun Bora Durdu
  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Marco E. Terrones

Theory predicts that a nation's stochastic intertemporal budget constraint is satisfied if net foreign assets (NFA) are integrated of any finite order, or if net exports (NX) and NFA satisfy an error-correction specification with a residual integrated of any finite order. We test these conditions using data for 21 industrial and 29 emerging economies for the 1970-2004 period. The results show that, despite the large global imbalances of recent years, NFA and NX positions are consistent with external solvency. Country-specific unit root tests on NFA-GDP ratios suggest that nearly all of them are integrated of order 1. Pooled Mean Group error-correction estimation yields evidence of a statistically significant, negative response of the NX-GDP ratio to the NFA-GDP ratio that is largely homogeneous across countries.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 975.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:975
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  1. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," CEPR Discussion Papers 5234, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. James M. Nason & John H. Rogers, 2003. "The present-value model of the current account has been rejected: round up the usual suspects," International Finance Discussion Papers 760, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Alessandra Fogli & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "The Great Moderation and the U.S. External Imbalance," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 24(S1), pages 209-225, December.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2005. "The unsustainable U.S. current account position revisited," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. 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.
  6. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II; Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970-2004," IMF Working Papers 06/69, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry, 2007. "International Evidence on Fiscal Solvency: Is Fiscal Policy "Responsible"?," NBER Working Papers 12947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Shaghil Ahmed & John H. Rogers, 1995. "Government budget deficits and trade deficits: are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?," International Finance Discussion Papers 494, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep16 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Nouriel Roubini & Brad Setser, 2005. "Will the Bretton Woods 2 regime unravel soon? the risk of a hard landing in 2005-2006," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  12. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Chris Telmer, 2005. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," 2005 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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