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On the Solvency of Nations; Are Global Imbalances Consistent with Intertemporal Budget Constraints?


  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Marco Terrones
  • Ceyhun Bora Durdu


Theory predicts that a nation's stochastic intertemporal budget constraint is satisfied if net exports (NX) and net foreign assets (NFA) satisfy an error-correction specification with a residual integrated of any finite order. We test this hypothesis using data for 21 industrial and 29 emerging economies for the 1970-2004 period to search for existence of negative relationship between NX and NFA. The results show that, despite the large global imbalances of recent years, NX and NFA positions are consistent with external solvency. Pooled Mean Group error-correction estimation yields evidence of a statistically significant, negative response of the NX-GDP ratio to the NFA-GDP ratio that is largely homogeneous across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco Terrones & Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2010. "On the Solvency of Nations; Are Global Imbalances Consistent with Intertemporal Budget Constraints?," IMF Working Papers 10/50, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/50

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Ahmed, Shaghil & Rogers, John H., 1995. "Government budget deficits and trade deficits Are present value constraints satisfied in long-term data?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 351-374, November.
    3. 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.
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    7. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530.
    8. 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 358-393, March.
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    10. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Camarero, Mariam & Carrion-i-Silvestre, Josep Lluís & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2013. "Global imbalances and the intertemporal external budget constraint: A multicointegration approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5357-5372.
    2. Oscar Bajo-Rubio & Carmen Díaz-Roldán & Esteve, 2014. "Sustainability of external imbalances in the OECD countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 441-449, February.
    3. Christian Schoder & Christian R. Proaño & Willi Semmler, 2012. "Are the current account imbalances between EMU countries sustainable?," IMK Working Paper 90-2012, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.


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