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Globalization, Gluts, innovation or Irrationality; What Explains the Easy Financing of the U.S. Current Account Deficit?

  • Ravi Balakrishnan
  • Volodymyr Tulin
  • Tamim Bayoumi

This paper examines the roles of U.S. financial innovation, financial globalization, and the savings glut hypothesis in explaining the rise in U.S. external debt, first in a portfolio balance model, and then empirically. Perhaps surprisingly, financial deepening and falling home bias in industrialized countries explain a large share of external financing. The savings glut hypothesis (including difficult-to-track petrodollar recycling) and U.S. financial innovation are also important, in part as a cause of declining home bias in industrialized countries. The latter underscores the importance of not looking at these factors in isolation, but rather as a constellation of forces that can be self-reinforcing.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/160.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/160
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  1. Miranda Xafa, 2007. "Global Imbalances and Financial Stability," IMF Working Papers 07/111, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1979. "A Model of Innovation, Technology Transfer, and the World Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 253-66, April.
  3. Kenneth Rogoff & William Brainard & George Perry, . "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Working Paper 33687, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-93, March.
  6. Xafa, Miranda, 2007. "Global imbalances and financial stability," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 783-796.
  7. Steven B. Kamin & Trevor A. Reeve & Nathan Sheets, 2009. "U.S. External Adjustment: Is It Disorderly? Is It Unique? Will It Disrupt The Rest Of The World?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 265-292, 04.
  8. Richard N. Cooper, 2005. "Living with Global Imbalances: A Contrarian View," Policy Briefs PB05-03, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  9. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Francis E. Warnock & Chad Cleaver, 2002. "Financial centers and the geography of capital flows," International Finance Discussion Papers 722, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Charles P. Thomas, 2006. "The Performance of International Equity Portfolios," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp162, IIIS.
  12. Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock & Jon Wongswan, 2006. "The Performance of International Equity Portfolios," NBER Working Papers 12346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Carol C. Bertaut & William L. Griever, 2004. "Recent developments in cross-border investment in securities," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Win, pages 19-31.
  14. Ravi Balakrishnan & Volodymyr Tulin, 2006. "U.S. Dollar Risk Premiums and Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/160, International Monetary Fund.
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