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Monetary Policy in a Changing International Environment: The Role of Global Capital Flows

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  • Martin Feldstein

Abstract

The Feldstein-Horioka study of 1980 found that OECD countries with high saving rates had high investment rates and vice versa, contrary to the traditional theory of global capital market integration. This capital market segmentation view, which has been verified in various studies over the past several decades, has important implications for tax and monetary policy. More recently, Alan Greenspan and John Helliwell have shown that the link between domestic saving and domestic investment became substantially weaker after the mid-1990s. The research reported in the current paper suggests that this is true of the smaller OECD countries but not of the larger ones. When observations are weighted by each country's GDP, the savings-investment link (i.e., the savings retention coefficient) remains relatively high. This paper also examines the recent capital flows to the United States. The Treasury International Capital (TIC) reports are generally misunderstood. When they are properly interpreted, they do not indicate that they U.S. has an excess of capital flows to finance the current account deficit. The TIC data also cannot be relied on the distinguish private and government sources of the capital flow. The persistence of these flows is therefore uncertain. The paper discusses the implications for monetary and fiscal policy of the changes in capital flows that may be happening.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Monetary Policy in a Changing International Environment: The Role of Global Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 11856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11856 Note: IFM ME PE
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    Cited by:

    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    2. Zubarev, Andrei & Trunin, Pavel, 2013. "The Feldstein-Horioka paradox: modern aspects," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 54-73, August.
    3. Dabrowski, Marek, 2006. "Rethinking balance-of-payments constraints in a globalized world," MPRA Paper 11962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2009. "A Note On Human Capital And The Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(3), pages 398-409, June.
    5. Luke Willard, 2007. "Trade Costs and Some Puzzles in International Macroeconomics," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2007-10, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    6. Martin Feldstein, 2008. "Resolving the Global Imbalance: The Dollar and the U.S. Saving Rate," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 113-125, Summer.
    7. Hiroshi Fujiki & Akiko Terada-Hagiwara, 2007. "Financial Integration in East Asia," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 25(S1), pages 57-100, December.
    8. Már Gudmundsson, 2008. "Financial globalisation: key trends and implications for the transmission mechanism of monetary policy," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Financial market developments and their implications for monetary policy, volume 39, pages 7-29 Bank for International Settlements.
    9. Apergis, Nicholas & Tsoumas, Chris, 2009. "A survey of the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle: What has been done and where we stand," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 64-76, June.
    10. Pavel Trunin & Andrey Zubarev, 2013. "The Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle: Modern Aspects," Working Papers 0070, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2013.
    11. Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2007. "Human Capital and the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 1914, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2006. "Global Imbalances and Low Interest Rates: An Equilibrium Model vs. A Disequilibrium Reality," Working Paper Series rwp06-035, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    13. Yannick BINEAU, "undated". "A Empirical Assessment of the Feldstein and Horioka Literature," EcoMod2010 259600030, EcoMod.

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    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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