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External Adjustment and the Global Crisis

  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

    (International Monetary Fund and CEPR)

  • Philip Lane


    (Trinity College Dublin, IIIS and CEPR)

The period preceding the global financial crisis was characterized by a substantial widening of current account imbalances across the world. Since the onset of the crisis, these imbalances have contracted to a significant extent. In this paper, we analyze the ongoing process of external adjustment in advanced economies and emerging markets. We find that countries whose precrisiscurrent account balances were in excess of what could be explained by standard economic fundamentals have experienced the largest contractions in their external balance. We subsequently examine the contributions of real exchange rates, domestic demand and domestic output to the adjustment process (allowing for differences across exchange rate regimes) and find that external adjustment in deficit countries was achieved primarily through demand compression, rather than expenditure switching. Finally, we show that other investment flows was the main adjustment category in the financial account but that ECB liquidity and official external assistance have cushioned the exit of private capital flows for some countries.

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp369.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp369
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  1. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2010. "The Cross-Country Incidence of the Global Crisis," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp333, IIIS.
  2. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output," Working Paper Series 2006-38, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2002. "Long-Term Capital Movements," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 73-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "Current Account Balances, Financial Development and Institutions: Assaying the World "Savings Glut"," NBER Working Papers 11761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kristin J. Forbes & Francis E. Warnock, 2011. "Capital Flow Waves: Surges, Stops, Flight, and Retrenchment," NBER Working Papers 17351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "Europe and Global Imbalances," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp226, IIIS.
  7. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Mart�n Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
  8. Muge Adalet & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Current Account Reversals: Always a Problem?," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 205-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Olivier J. Blanchard, 2009. "Global Imbalances: In Midstream?," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/29, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Razin, Assaf, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2004. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," NBER Working Papers 10869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Menzie D. Chinn & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "A Faith-based Initiative: Does a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime Really Facilitate Current Account Adjustment?," NBER Working Papers 14420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Caroline Freund & Frank Warnock, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Industrial Countries: The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall?," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 133-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Jaewoo Lee & Jonathan David Ostry & Alessandro Prati & Luca Antonio Ricci & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Exchange Rate Assessments: CGER Methodologies," IMF Occasional Papers 261, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Philip Lane, 2010. "International Differences in Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp336, IIIS.
  16. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mitali Das & Hamid Faruqee, 2010. "The Initial Impact of the Crisis on Emerging Market Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 263-323.
  17. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
  18. Benigno, Gianluca & Christoph Thoenissen, 2002. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Supply Side Performance," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 19, Royal Economic Society.
  19. David Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The S-Curve," NBER Working Papers 4242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Richard H. Clarida, 2006. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 12194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
  22. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  23. Ruo Chen & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "External Imbalances in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 12/236, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Ali Abbas, S.M. & Bouhga-Hagbe, Jacques & Fatás, Antonio & Mauro, Paolo & Velloso, Ricardo C., 2010. "Fiscal Policy and the Current Account," CEPR Discussion Papers 7859, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2009. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 75-89, September.
  26. repec:cup:cbooks:9789279098420 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Cédric Tille, 2010. "The Great Retrenchment: International Capital Flows During the Global Financial Crisis," IHEID Working Papers 18-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised 15 Sep 2010.
  28. Atish R. Ghosh & Jonathan David Ostry & Charalambos G. Tsangarides, 2011. "Exchange Rate Regimes and the Stability of the International Monetary System," IMF Occasional Papers 270, International Monetary Fund.
  29. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226454627 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances Coming Back," Working Paper Series WP11-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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