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External Adjustment and the Global Crisis

  • Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti
  • Philip R. Lane

After widening substantially in the period preceding the global financial crisis, current account imbalances across the world have contracted to a significant extent. This paper analyzes the factors underlying this process of external adjustment. It finds that countries whose pre-crisis current account balances were in excess of what could be explained by economic fundamentals have experienced the largest contractions in their external balance. External adjustment in deficit countries was achieved primarily through demand compression, rather than expenditure switching. Changes in other investment flows were the main channel of financial account adjustment, with official external assistance and ECB liquidity cushioning the exit of private capital flows for some countries.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 11/197.

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Length: 38
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/197
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  1. Barry Eichengreen & Muge Adalet, 2005. "Current Account Reversals: Always a Problem?," NBER Working Papers 11634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Menzie D. Chinn & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "A Faith-based Initiative: Does a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime Really Facilitate Current Account Adjustment?," Working Papers 122009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  3. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "Current Account Patterns and National Real Estate Markets," NBER Working Papers 13921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bénétrix, Agustín & Lane, Philip R., 2010. "International Differences in Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 8009, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crisis; Empirical Regularities," IMF Working Papers 98/89, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Richard H. Clarida, 2006. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 12194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226454627 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Caroline Freund & Frank Warnock, 2005. "Current Account Deficits in Industrial Countries: The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall?," NBER Working Papers 11823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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