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External Adjustment and the Global Crisis

  • Philip R. Lane
  • Gian Maria Milesi Ferretti

The period preceding the global financial crisis was characterized by a substantial widening of current account imbalances across the world. Since the onset of the crisis, these imbalances have contracted to a significant extent. In this paper, we analyze the ongoing process of external adjustment in advanced economies and emerging markets. We find that countries whose pre-crisis current account balances were in excess of what could be explained by standard economic fundamentals have experienced the largest contractions in their external balance. We subsequently examine the contributions of real exchange rates, domestic demand and domestic output to the adjustment process (allowing for differences across exchange rate regimes) and find that external adjustment in deficit countries was achieved primarily through demand compression, rather than expenditure switching. Finally, we show that changes in other investment flows were the main channel of financial account adjustment, with official external assistance and ECB liquidity cushioning the exit of private capital flows for some countries.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17352.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2012. "External adjustment and the global crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 252-265.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17352
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  1. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Long-Term Capital Movements," Trinity Economics Papers 200112, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    • Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2002. "Long-Term Capital Movements," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 73-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "Current Account Balances, Financial Development and Institutions: Assaying the World "Savings Glut"," NBER Working Papers 11761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Menzie D. Chinn & Eswar S. Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 7581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ravn, Morten O & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Deep Habits," CEPR Discussion Papers 4269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Richard Clarida, . "The Unsustainable U S Current Account Position Revisited," Working Paper 14901, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  6. S M Ali Abbas & Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe & Antonio Fat�s & Paolo Mauro & Ricardo C Velloso, 2011. "Fiscal Policy and the Current Account," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 59(4), pages 603-629, November.
  7. Kristin J. Forbes & Francis E. Warnock, 2011. "Capital Flow Waves: Surges, Stops, Flight, and Retrenchment," NBER Chapters, in: Global Financial Crisis National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  9. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "Europe and Global Imbalances," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp226, IIIS.
  10. Muge Adalet & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Current Account Reversals: Always a Problem?," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 205-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the trade balance and the terms of trade: the S-curve," Working Paper 9211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Jaewoo Lee & Jonathan David Ostry & Alessandro Prati & Luca Antonio Ricci & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Exchange Rate Assessments: CGER Methodologies," IMF Occasional Papers 261, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Razin, Assaf, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," CEPR Discussion Papers 1921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Menzie D. Chinn & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "A Faith-based Initiative: Does a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime Really Facilitate Current Account Adjustment?," Working Papers 122009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  15. Philip Lane, 2010. "International Differences in Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp336, IIIS.
  16. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2010. "The Cross-Country Incidence of the Global Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 7954, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Blanchard, Olivier J & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2010. "Global Imbalances: In Midstream?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226454627 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Benigno, Gianluca & Christoph Thoenissen, 2002. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Supply Side Performance," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 19, Royal Economic Society.
  20. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
  21. Caroline Freund & Frank Warnock, 2005. "Current Account Deficits in Industrial Countries: The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall?," NBER Working Papers 11823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "Current Account Patterns and National Real Estate Markets," NBER Working Papers 13921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Richard H. Clarida, 2006. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 12194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Gian‐Maria Milesi‐Ferretti & Cédric Tille, 2011. "The great retrenchment: international capital flows during the global financial crisis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(66), pages 285-342, 04.
  25. Atish R. Ghosh & Jonathan David Ostry & Charalambos G. Tsangarides, 2011. "Exchange Rate Regimes and the Stability of the International Monetary System," IMF Occasional Papers 270, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  27. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances Coming Back," Working Paper Series WP11-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  28. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mitali Das & Hamid Faruqee, 2010. "The Initial Impact of the Crisis on Emerging Market Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 263-323.
  29. Ruo Chen & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "External Imbalances in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 12/236, International Monetary Fund.
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