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Macroeconomic Volatility and External Imbalances

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  • Alessandra Fogli
  • Fabrizio Perri

Abstract

Does macroeconomic volatility/uncertainty affects accumulation of net foreign assets? In OECD economies over the period 1970-2012, changes in country specific aggregate volatility are, after controlling for a wide array of factors, significantly positively associated with net foreign asset position. An increase in volatility (measured as the standard deviation of GDP growth) of 0.5% over period of 10 years is associated with an increase in the net foreign assets of around 8% of GDP. A standard open economy model with time varying aggregate uncertainty can quantitatively account for this relationship. The key mechanism is precautionary motive: more uncertainty induces residents to save more, and higher savings are in part channeled into foreign assets. We conclude that both data and theory suggest uncertainty/volatility is an important determinant of the medium/long run evolution of external imbalances in developed countries.

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  • Alessandra Fogli & Fabrizio Perri, 2015. "Macroeconomic Volatility and External Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 20872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20872
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    Cited by:

    1. Yang Liu & Mariano Croce & Ivan Shaliastovich & Ric Colacito, 2016. "Volatility Risk Pass-Through," 2016 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Choi, Sangyup & Furceri, Davide, 2019. "Uncertainty and cross-border banking flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 260-274.
    3. Duncan, Roberto, 2016. "Does the US current account show a symmetric behavior over the business cycle?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 202-219.
    4. Hoffmann, Mathias & Krause, Michael & Tillmann, Peter, 2019. "International capital flows, external assets and output volatility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 242-255.
    5. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Rey, Hélène & Winant, Pablo, 2020. "Financial integration and growth in a risky world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-21.
    6. Samil Oh & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2017. "Firm entry, Search and Matching in a Small Open Economy Faced with Uncertainty Shocks: The case of Korea," THEMA Working Papers 2017-27, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    7. Gete, Pedro & Melkadze, Givi, 2018. "Aggregate volatility and international dynamics. The role of credit supply," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 143-158.
    8. Krittika Banerjee & Ashima Goyal, 2021. "Current account imbalances: Exploring role of domestic and external factors for large emerging markets," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2021-001, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    9. De La Torre,Augusto & Ize,Alain, 2015. "Should Latin America save more to grow faster ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7386, The World Bank.
    10. Ivan Jaccard & Frank Smets, 2020. "Structural Asymmetries and Financial Imbalances in the Eurozone," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 73-102, April.
    11. Jeanne, Olivier & Sandri, Damiano, 2020. "Optimal reserves in financially closed economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 104(C).
    12. Zhang, Ning, 2019. "Country portfolios under global imbalances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 302-317.
    13. Joshua Aizenman & Eduardo Cavallo & Ilan Noy, 2015. "Precautionary Strategies and Household Saving," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 911-939, November.
    14. Ivan Jaccard & Frank Smets, 2020. "Structural Asymmetries and Financial Imbalances in the Eurozone," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 73-102, April.
    15. Joseph Steinberg, 2019. "On the Source of U.S. Trade Deficits: Global Saving Glut or Domestic Saving Drought?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 200-223, January.
    16. Florian Morvillier, 2018. "On the impact of the launch of the euro on EMU macroeconomic vulnerability," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-51, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    17. Ekaterina Pirozhkova, 2017. "Bank loan components, uncertainty and monetary transmission mechanism," BCAM Working Papers 1702, Birkbeck Centre for Applied Macroeconomics.
    18. Hochmuth, Brigitte & Moyen, Stephane & Stähler, Nikolai, 2019. "Labor market reforms, precautionary savings, and global imbalances," Discussion Papers 13/2019, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    19. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Rey, Hélène & Winant, Pablo, 2020. "Financial integration and growth in a risky world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-21.

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    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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