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Historical Perspective on Global Imbalances

  • Michael D. Bordo

This paper takes an historical perspectives approach to the current episode of global imbalances. I consider four historical episodes which may give some indications as to whether the adjustment to U.S. current account deficit will lead to a 'benign' or 'gloomy' outlook. The episodes are: the transfer of capital in the earlier era of globalization the late nineteenth century; the interwar gold exchange standard; Bretton Woods; and the 1977-79 dollar crisis. I conclude that adjustment in earlier era of globalization has more resonance for the current imbalance than the other scenarios.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11383.

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Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11383
Note: DAE ME
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  1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 11155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barry Eichengreen, 2004. "Global Imbalances and the Lessons of Bretton Woods," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 100, pages 39-50.
  3. Michael D. Bordo, 1993. "The Bretton Woods International Monetary System: A Historical Overview," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 3-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Antu P. Murshid, 2000. "Are Financial Crises Becoming Increasingly More Contagious? What is the Historical Evidence on Contagion?," NBER Working Papers 7900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Allan H. Meltzer, 1991. "U.S. policy in the Bretton Woods era," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 54-83.
  6. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2004. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," NBER Working Papers 10869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "Financial Globalisation and Exchange Rates," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp044, IIIS.
  9. Michael Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Daniela Klingebiel & Maria Soledad Martinez-Peria, 2001. "Is the crisis problem growing more severe?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 51-82, 04.
  10. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1992. "The Adjustment Mechanism," CEPR Discussion Papers 648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    • Maurice Obstfeld, 1993. "The Adjustment Mechanism," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 201-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bordo, Michael D. & Rockoff, Hugh, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 389-428, June.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521633178 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Michael D. Bordo & Ehsan U. Choudhri & Anna J. Schwartz, 1999. "Was Expansionary Monetary Policy Feasible During the Great Contraction? An Examination of the Gold Standard Constraint," NBER Working Papers 7125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521671798 is not listed on IDEAS
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