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Italy's current account sustainability:a long run perspective, 1861-2000

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  • Barbara Pistoresi

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the sustainability of Italy’s current accounts from 1861 to 2000. Whether or not we find empirical support to sustainability depends on the statistical condition of stationarity of the current account series. Non stationarity of the current accounts implies the economy has violated its intertemporal budget constraint. Unit root tests to study the stationarity of Italy’s current accounts suggest that in the long run (1861 to 2000) Italy’s external position was sustainable: the Italian economy seems to have used the external deficits (surpluses) to smooth its aggregate consumption. The persistent current account deficits in the shorter 1861-1913 period were generated by foreign capital inflows that allowed investment to rise and, in turn, to prompt the nation’s productivity and economic efficiency. Therefore, they do not seem to have curbed economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Pistoresi, 2013. "Italy's current account sustainability:a long run perspective, 1861-2000," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 092, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:092
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gianpaolo Rossini & Paolo Zanghieri, 2009. "Current account composition and sustainability of external debt," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 677-683.
    2. Barbara Pistoresi & Alberto Rinaldi, 2010. "Exports,growth and causality. New evidence on Italy: 1863-2004," Department of Economics 0633, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    3. Chen, Shyh-Wei, 2011. "Current account deficits and sustainability: Evidence from the OECD countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1455-1464, July.
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    5. repec:bdi:workqs:qse_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Stephen Broadberry & Claire Giordano & Francesco Zollino, 2011. "A Sectoral Analysis of Italy's Development, 1861-2011," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 20, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Mark Holmes & Theodore Panagiotidis & Abhijit Sharma, 2011. "The sustainability of India's current account," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 219-229.
    8. Mark J. Holmes, 2006. "Do Latin American Countries Have an Incentive to Default on Their External Debts?: A Perspective Based on Long-Run Current Account Behavior," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(1), pages 33-49, February.
    9. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
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    12. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
    13. Fenoaltea,Stefano, 2014. "The Reinterpretation of Italian Economic History," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107658080, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Current account sustainability; economic development; Italy; unit root tests; Granger causality;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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