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Trade Deficits in the Baltic States: How Long Will the Party Last?


  • Bems, Rudolfs

    () (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Jönsson, Kristian

    () (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)


Since their opening up to international capital markets, the economies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have experienced large and persistent capital inflows and trade deficits. This paper investigates whether a calibrated two-sector neoclassical growth model can explain the magnitudes and the timing of the trade flows in the Baltic countries. The model is calibrated for each of the three countries, which we simulate as small closed economies that suddenly open up to international trade and capital flows. The results show that the model can account for the observed magnitudes of the trade deficits in the 1995-2001 period. Introducing a real interest rate risk premium in the model increases its explanatory power. The model indicates that trade balances will turn positive in the Baltic states around 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Bems, Rudolfs & Jönsson, Kristian, 2005. "Trade Deficits in the Baltic States: How Long Will the Party Last?," Working Paper Series 186, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0186

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    Cited by:

    1. Krasnopjorovs, Olegs, 2013. "Latvijas ekonomikas izaugsmi noteicošie faktori
      [Factors of Economic Growth in Latvia]
      ," MPRA Paper 47550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jönsson, Kristian, 2005. "Real Exchange Rate and Consumption Fluctuations following Trade Liberalization," Working Paper Series 187, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    3. Díaz, Julián P., 2012. "Can enforcement constraints explain the patterns of capital flows after financial liberalizations?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1180-1194.
    4. Egert, Balazs & Lommatzsch, Kirsten & Lahreche-Revil, Amina, 2006. "Real exchange rates in small open OECD and transition economies: Comparing apples with oranges?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 3393-3406, December.
    5. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Ruhl, Kim J., 2009. "Sudden stops, sectoral reallocations, and the real exchange rate," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 235-249, July.
    6. Cardi, Olivier & Restout, Romain, 2015. "Imperfect mobility of labor across sectors: a reappraisal of the Balassa–Samuelson effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 249-265.
    7. Alessandro Turrini & Stefan Zeugner, 2016. "Baltics’ External Balance: Still a Constraint?," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(4), pages 19-30, January.
    8. Kónya, István & Benczúr, Péter, 2013. "Kamatfelár, hitelválság és mérlegalkalmazkodás egy kis, nyitott gazdaságban
      [Interest premium, credit crisis and balance-sheet adjustment in a small open economy]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 940-964.
    9. Julia Lendvai & Werner Roeger, 2010. "External deficits in the Baltics 1995 to 2007: Catching up or imbalances," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 398, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Benczur, Peter & Konya, Istvan, 2013. "Convergence, capital accumulation and the nominal exchange rate," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 260-281.
    11. Fesselmeyer, Eric & Mirman, Leonard J. & Santugini, Marc, 2014. "Risk sharing in an asymmetric environment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 1-8.
    12. Краснопёров, Олег, 2012. "Оценка Производственной Функции В Условиях Неопределённости Динамики Физического Капитала
      [Assessing the production function under the uncertainty of dynamics of the fixed capital]
      ," MPRA Paper 47555, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Rudolfs Bems & Philip Schellekens, 2008. "Macroeconomics of Migration in New Member States," IMF Working Papers 08/264, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Mansoorian, Arman & Mohsin, Mohammed, 2010. "On the employment, investment, and current account effects of trade liberalizations with durability in consumption," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 228-240, December.

    More about this item


    Baltic states; international factor movements; non-traded goods; adjustment costs; dynamic general equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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