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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. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. James M. Nason and John H. Rogers, 2001. "The Present Value Model of the Current Account Has Been Rejected: Round Up the Usual Subjects," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 102, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 67-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Christopher Telmer, 2009. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," NBER Working Papers 15525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fabrizio Perri & Alessandra Fogli, 2007. "The "great moderation'' and the US external imbalance," 2007 Meeting Papers 41, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Ahmed, Shaghil & Rogers, John H., 1995. "Government budget deficits and trade deficits Are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 351-374, November.
  8. Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan David Ostry, 2007. "International Evidenceon Fiscal Solvency: Is Fiscal Policy "Responsible"?," IMF Working Papers 07/56, International Monetary Fund.
  9. 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.
  10. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of Global Imbalances and Low Interest Rates," 2006 Meeting Papers 894, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
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  13. 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.
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