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Transpacific Trade Imbalances: Causes and Cures

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  • Jong-Wha Lee
  • Warwick J. McKibbin
  • Yung Chul Park

Abstract

This paper explores the causes of the transpacific trade imbalances using an empirical global model. It also evaluates the impact of various policies to reduce these imbalances. We find the fundamental cause of trade imbalance since 1997 is changes in saving-investment gaps, attributed to the surge of the U.S fiscal deficits and the decline of East Asia's private investment after the 1997 financial crisis. Our simulation results show that a revaluation of East Asia's exchange rates by 10 percent (effectively a shift in monetary policy) cannot resolve the imbalances. We find East Asia's concerted efforts to stimulate aggregate demand can have significant impacts on trade balances globally, but the impact on the US trade balance is not large. US fiscal contraction is estimated to have large impacts on the US trade position overall and on the bilateral trade balances with East Asian economies. These results suggest that in order to improve the transpacific imbalance, acroeconomic adjustment will need to be made on both sides of the Pacific.

Suggested Citation

  • Jong-Wha Lee & Warwick J. McKibbin & Yung Chul Park, 2006. "Transpacific Trade Imbalances: Causes and Cures," Discussion Paper Series 0601, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:0601
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    File URL: http://econ.korea.ac.kr/~ri/WorkingPapers/w0601.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
    2. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    3. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    4. Hertel, Thomas, 1997. "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, number 7685.
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    Cited by:

    1. Demirel, Erhan & Ommeren, Jos van & Rietveld, Piet, 2010. "A matching model for the backhaul problem," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 549-561, May.
    2. McKibbin, Warwick J. & Wilcoxen, Peter J., 2013. "A Global Approach to Energy and the Environment," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    3. Chiu, Yi-Bin & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Sun, Chia-Hung, 2010. "The U.S. trade imbalance and real exchange rate: An application of the heterogeneous panel cointegration method," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 705-716, May.
    4. Chiu, Yi-Bin & Sun, Chia-Hung D., 2016. "The role of savings rate in exchange rate and trade imbalance nexus: Cross-countries evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 1017-1025.
    5. Bagnai, Alberto, 2009. "The role of China in global external imbalances: Some further evidence," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 508-526, September.
    6. Yi-Bin Chiu & Chia-Hung Sun, 2009. "Economic interdependence and bilateral trade imbalance across the Taiwan Strait," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(4), pages 411-432, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies

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