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Current Account and Budget Deficits in an Intertemporal Model of Consumption and Taxation Smoothing. A Solution to the "Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle"?

  • Nouriel Roubini

This paper presents an infinite horizon model of consumption and taxation " smoothing" that implies a simple relation between current accounts, budget deficits, investment rates and transitory output shocks. It is argued that such a model could explain the "Feldstein-Horioka puzzle" of the apparent lack of international capital mobility. Traditional regressions of the savings rate on the investment rate, as performed in the literature, are shown to be incorrect tests of the hypothesis of capital mobility because they do not control for the independent role of budget deficits and temporary output shocks in the current account and savings equations. Empirical tests of the model for a sample of 18 OECD countries present good evidence that international capital markets are widely integrated and that the "Feldstein-Horioka puzzle" might be explained by the important role of fiscal deficits in the determination of the current account and the saving behavior.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2773.

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Date of creation: Nov 1988
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2773
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  1. Martin Feldstein, 1991. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Movements in the Long Run and the Short Run," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 331-353 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan C. Stockman & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1985. "Capital Flows, Investment, and Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 1598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1986. "How Integrated are World Capital Markets? Some New Tests," NBER Working Papers 2075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
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  9. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
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  11. Campbell, John & Mankiw, Gregory, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," Scholarly Articles 3122545, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Tobin, James, 1983. "'Domestic saving and international capital movements in the long run and the short run' by M. Feldstein," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 153-156.
  13. Torsten Persson & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1983. "Current Account Dynamics and the Terms of Trade: Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Two Generations Later," NBER Working Papers 1129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Tax Policy and International Competitiveness," NBER Chapters, in: International Aspects of Fiscal Policies, pages 349-386 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Anderson, James E. & Young, Leslie, 1992. "Optimal taxation and debt in an open economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 27-57, February.
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  19. Razin, Assaf & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1983. "The current account and the optimal government debt," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 215-224, August.
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