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Debt Dynamics and Global Imbalances; Some Conventional Views Reconsidered

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  • Guy M Meredith

Abstract

We use a general-equilibrium model to explain the rise in global trade and payments imbalances since the mid-1990s, and then to construct adjustment paths to a steady state. Assuming that the shocks giving rise to the imbalances do not suddenly reverse, simulated movements in the U.S. trade deficit and exchange rate are smaller and more gradual than suggested by partial-equilibrium analyses. An important factor reducing the size of the adjustments is a simulated real interest rate on U.S. external liabilities that is below both the interest rate on external assets and the U.S. real economic growth rate. In addition, the adjustment takes place over an extended period without significantly raising the share of U.S. assets in foreign portfolios, in part because depreciation of the dollar requires continued foreign accumulation of U.S. assets just to keep their portfolio share constant.

Suggested Citation

  • Guy M Meredith, 2007. "Debt Dynamics and Global Imbalances; Some Conventional Views Reconsidered," IMF Working Papers 07/4, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/4
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 67-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Filipa Sá & Francesca Viani, 2013. "Shifts in Portfolio Preferences of International Investors: An Application to Sovereign Wealth Funds," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 868-885, November.
    3. John Williamson, 2009. "Exchange Rate Economics," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 123-146, February.
    4. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2009. "Where did all the borrowing go? A forensic analysis of the U.S. external position," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-199, June.
    5. Thierry Bracke & Martin Schmitz, 2011. "Channels of international risk-sharing: capital gains versus income flows," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 45-78, April.

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