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Those Current Account Imbalances: A Sceptical View

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  • W. Max Corden

    (Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

The international current account imbalance, where the United States has a vast deficit and several countries, notably Japan, China, Germany and the oil exporters have corresponding surpluses, is usually seen as a problem. The argument here is that current account imbalances simply indicate intertemporal trade – the exchange of goods and services for claims. There are likely to be gains from trade of that kind as from ordinary trade. What then are the problems? This paper considers several scenarios, notably one where net savings of the surplus countries decline so that the world real interest rate rises, and another where the US fiscal deficit is reduced, so that the world real interest rate falls and there could be a world wide aggregate demand problem, essentially caused by the high net savings of the surplus countries.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Max Corden, 2006. "Those Current Account Imbalances: A Sceptical View," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2006n13, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2006n13
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2006n13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2007. "The Unsustainable U.S. Current Account Position Revisited," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 339-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gehlhar, Mark J. & Dohlman, Erik & Brooks, Nora L. & Jerardo, Alberto & Vollrath, Thomas L., 2007. "Global Growth, Macroeconomic Change, and U.S. Agricultural Trade," Economic Research Report 55963, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Yongding Yu, 2010. "Managing Capital Flows: The Case of the People’s Republic of China," Chapters,in: Managing Capital Flows, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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