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Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops

  • Sebastian Edwards

In this paper I analyze the anatomy of current account adjustments in the world economy during the last three decades. The main findings may be summarized as follows: (a) Major reversals in current account deficits have tended to be associated to sudden stops' of capital inflows. (b) The probability of a country experiencing a reversal is captured by a small number of variables that include the (lagged) current account to GDP ratio, the external debt to GDP ratio, the level of international reserves, domestic credit creation, and debt services. (c) Current account reversals have had a negative effect on real growth that goes beyond their direct effect on investments. (d) There is persuasive evidence indicating that the negative effect of current account reversals on growth will depend on the country's degree of openness. More open countries will suffer less in terms of lower growth than countries with a lower degree of openness. (e) I was unable to find evidence supporting the hypothesis that countries with a higher degree of dollarization are more severely affected by current account reversals than countries with a lower degree of dollarization. And, (f) the empirical analysis suggests that countries with more flexible exchange rate regimes are able to accommodate the shocks stemming from a reversal better than countries with more rigid exchange rate regime.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10276.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Publication status: published as Edwards, Sebastian. "Financial Openness, Sudden Stops, And Current-Account Reversals," American Economic Review, 2004, v94(2,May), 59-64.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10276
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  1. Kraay, Aart & Ventura, Jaume, 2002. "Current Accounts in the Long and Short Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 3440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Sebastian Edwards & Raul Susmel, 2003. "Interest-Rate Volatility in Emerging Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 328-348, May.
  3. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, June.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 2002. "Does the Current Account Matter?," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 21-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Gian & Razin, Assaf, 1998. "Sharp reductions in current account deficits An empirical analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 897-908, May.
  6. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6821, Inter-American Development Bank.
  7. Mody, Ashoka & Taylor, Mark P, 2003. "International Capital Crunches: The Time-Varying Role of Informational Asymmetries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3757, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Federico Sturzenegger, 2003. "To Float or to Fix: Evidence on the Impact of Exchange Rate Regimes on Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1173-1193, September.
  9. Joshua D. Angrist, 2000. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. De Gregorio, Jose & Edwards, Sebastian & Valdes, Rodrigo O., 2000. "Controls on capital inflows: do they work?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 59-83, October.
  11. Gian Maria Milesi Ferretti & Assaf Razin, 2000. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Chapters, in: Currency Crises, pages 285-323 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
  13. Ghosh, Atish R & Ostry, Jonathan D, 1995. "The Current Account in Developing Countries: A Perspective from the Consumption-Smoothing Approach," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 305-33, May.
  14. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Fischer, Stanley, 1988. "Real Balances, the Exchange Rate, and Indexation: Real Variables in Disinflation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 27-49, February.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Glick, R. & Hutchison, M., 1999. "Banking and Currency Crises: How Common are Twins?," Papers pb99-07, Economisch Institut voor het Midden en Kleinbedrijf-.
  18. Edwards, Sebastian & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo, 2005. "Flexible exchange rates as shock absorbers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2079-2105, November.
  19. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2000. "International and Domestic Collateral Constraints in a Model of Emerging Market Crises," NBER Working Papers 7971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  21. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2000. "Current Accounts In Debtor And Creditor Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1137-1166, November.
  22. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "Crisis Prevention: Lessons from Mexico and East Asia," NBER Working Papers 7233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Sebastian Edwards, 2003. "Debt relief and fiscal sustainability," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 38-65, March.
  24. Olumuyiwa Adedeji, 2001. "The Size and Sustainability of the Nigerian Current Account Deficits," IMF Working Papers 01/87, International Monetary Fund.
  25. de Cordoba, Gonzalo Fernandez & Kehoe, Timothy J., 2000. "Capital flows and real exchange rate fluctuations following Spain's entry into the European Community," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-78, June.
  26. Caroline L. Freund, 2000. "Current account adjustment in industrialized countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 692, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  27. repec:rus:hseeco:123927 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2003. "Explaining Sudden Stops, Growth Collapse and BOP Crises: The Case of Distortionary Output Taxes," NBER Working Papers 9864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Fabio Scacciavillani & Malcolm D. Knight, 1998. "Current Accounts; What is their Relevance for Economic Policymaking?," IMF Working Papers 98/71, International Monetary Fund.
  31. Rudger Dornbusch & Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Vald├ęs, 1995. "Currency Crises and Collapses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 219-294.
  32. Donal McGettigan, 2000. "Current Account and External Sustainability in the Baltics, Russia, and Other Countries of the Former Soviet Union," IMF Occasional Papers 189, International Monetary Fund.
  33. Stanley Fischer, 1984. "Real Balances, the Exchange Rate and Indexation: Real Variables in Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 1497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Sebastian Edwards, 2003. "Debt Relief and the Current Account: An Analysis of the HIPC Initiative," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 513-531, 04.
  35. Carlos O. Arteta, 2003. "Are financially dollarized countries more prone to costly crises?," International Finance Discussion Papers 763, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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