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Country Portfolios

  • Aart Kraay
  • Norman Loayza
  • Luis Serven
  • Jaume Ventura

How do countries hold their financial wealth? We construct a new database of countries' claims on capital located at home and abroad, and international borrowing and lending, covering 68 countries from 1966 to 1997. We find that a small amount of capital flows from rich countries to poor countries. Countries' foreign asset positions are remarkably persistent, and mostly take the form of foreign loans rather than foreign equity. To interpret these facts, we build a simple model of international capital flows that highlights the interplay between diminishing returns, production risk and sovereign risk. We show that in the presence of reasonable diminishing returns and production risk, the probability that international crises occur twice a century is enough to generate a set of country portfolios that are roughly consistent with the data.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7795.

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Date of creation: Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Aart Kraay & Norman Loayza & Luis Servén & Jaume Ventura, 2005. "Country Portfolios," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(4), pages 914-945, 06.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7795
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  2. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "THE EXTERNAL WEALTH OF NATIONS: Measures of Foreign Assets and Liabilities For Industrial and Developing Countries," Trinity Economics Papers 20014, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 59, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Kraay, A. & Ventura, J., 1997. "Current Acounts in Debtor and Creditor Countries," Working papers 97-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  6. Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2000. "Liquidity Crises in Emerging Markets: Theory and Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1999, Volume 14, pages 11-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
  8. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  9. Kraay, Aart & Loayza, Norman & Serven, Luis & Ventura, Jaume, 2004. "Country Portfolios," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3320, The World Bank.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  11. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget," Levine's Working Paper Archive 209, David K. Levine.
  12. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
  13. Mark Rider, 1994. "External Debt and Liabilities of Industrial Countries," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9405, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  14. Rui Albuquerque, 2004. "The Composition of International Capital Flows: Risk Sharing Through Foreign Direct Investment," International Finance 0405004, EconWPA.
  15. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, . "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
  16. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  17. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
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