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External Adjustment

  • Maurice Obstfeld

Gross stocks of foreign assets have increased rapidly relative to national outputs since 1990, and the short-run capital gains and losses on those assets can amount to significant fractions of GDP. These fluctuations in asset values render the national income and product account measure of the current account balance increasingly inadequate as a summary of the change in a country's net foreign assets. Nonetheless, unusually large current account imbalances, especially deficits, should remain high on policymakers' list of concerns, even for the richer and less credit-constrained countries. Extreme imbalances signal the need for large and perhaps abrupt real exchange rate changes in the future, changes that might have undesired political and financial consequences given the incompleteness of domestic and international asset markets. Furthermore, of the two sources of the change in net foreign assets -- the current account and the capital gain on the net foreign asset position -- the former is better understood and more amenable to policy influence. Systematic government attempts to manipulate international asset values in order to change the net foreign asset position could have a destabilizing effect on market expectations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10843.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Publication status: published as Maurico Obstfeld, 2004. "External adjustment," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(4), pages 541-568, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10843
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "The unsustainable U.S. current account position revisited," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  2. Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "A century of current account dynamics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 725-748, November.
  3. Martin, Philippe & Rey, Hélène, 1999. "Financial Super-Markets: Size Matters for Asset Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 2232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 263-294, December.
  5. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2004. "Globalization, Macroeconomic Performance, and the Exchange Rates of Emerging Economies: Keynote Speech," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(S1), pages 29-55, December.
  7. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "A Primer on Emerging Market Crises," NBER Working Papers 8326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Ben Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, . "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is there a Common Cause?," Working Paper 32326, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. Cedric Tille, 2003. "The impact of exchange rate movements on U.S. foreign debt," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Jan).
  10. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2004. "Growth Volatility and Financial Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 10560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Branson, William H. & Henderson, Dale W., 1985. "The specification and influence of asset markets," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 749-805 Elsevier.
  12. Jaume Ventura, 2002. "Bubbles and Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 9304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Assaf Razin & Yona Rubinstein & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Fixed Costs and FDI: The Conflicting Effects of Productivity Shocks," NBER Working Papers 10864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Maurice Obstfeld, 2004. "Globalization, Macroeconomic Performance, and the Exchange Rates of Emerging Economies," NBER Working Papers 10849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, . "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
  16. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange rates and financial fragility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 329-368.
  17. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2004. "Financial globalization and exchange rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19926, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Alan C. Stockman & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1985. "Capital Flows, Investment, and Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 1598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Alan C. Stockman, 1986. "Fiscal Policies and International Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 1961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
  22. Tille, Cédric, 2008. "Financial integration and the wealth effect of exchange rate fluctuations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 283-294, July.
  23. Aasim M. Husain & Ashoka Mody & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "Exchange Rate Regime Durability and Performance in Developing Countries Versus Advanced Economies," NBER Working Papers 10673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-103, January.
  25. Pentti J. K. Kouri & Jorge Braga De Macedo, 1978. "Exchange Rates and the International Adjustments Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 111-158.
  26. Sebastian Edwards & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2002. "Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa02-2.
  27. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
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  29. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  31. Paul R. Krugman, 1981. "Consumption Preferences, Asset Demands, and Distribution Effects in International Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 0651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Obstfeld,Maurice & Taylor,Alan M., 2004. "Global Capital Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521633178, November.
  33. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Philip Lane, 2001. "Do international investment income flows smooth income?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 137(4), pages 714-736, December.
  35. Michael P. Dooley & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2003. "Managing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dool03-1.
  36. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  37. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476.
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