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Understanding the New Zealand current account: A structural approach

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Abstract

In this paper we use a small open economy model to identify the causal factors that drive New Zealand's current account. The model features nonseparable preferences, habit in consumption, imperfect capital mobility, permanent productivity shocks, fiscal shocks and two foreign shocks to explore features that are important in understanding the dynamics of the current account. The results suggest that permanent technology shocks and world cost of capital shocks account for the bulk of variation in the current account at short horizons; at longer horizons, external valuation shocks (reflecting terms of trade and exchange rate developments) account for most of the variance. Habit in consumption and a debt-sensitive risk premium are features that improve overall model it as measured by posterior odds ratios. These features, and the contribution of foreign and permanent technology shocks, help to explain why the one shock present value model of the current account fails to appropriately characterise the dynamics of the New Zealand current account, as discussed in Munro and Sethi (2006).

Suggested Citation

  • Anella Munro & Rishab Sethi, 2007. "Understanding the New Zealand current account: A structural approach," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2007/10, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2007/10
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    File URL: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Discussion%20papers/2007/dp07-10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 163-185, October.
    2. Santacreu, Ana Maria, 2005. "Reaction functions in a small open economy: What role for non-traded inflation?," Working Papers 2014-44, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Kano, Takashi, 2008. "A structural VAR approach to the intertemporal model of the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 757-779, September.
    4. Nason, James M. & Rogers, John H., 2006. "The present-value model of the current account has been rejected: Round up the usual suspects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 159-187, January.
    5. Bob Buckle & Aaron Drew, 2006. "Testing stabilisation policy limits in a small open economy: editor's summary of a macroeconomic policy forum," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 69, pages 1-9, December.
    6. Alan Bollard, 2005. "Imbalances in the New Zealand Economy," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 68, December.
    7. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
    8. Kim, Kunhong & Hall, Viv B. & Buckle, Robert A., 2006. "Consumption-smoothing in a small, cyclically volatile open economy: Evidence from New Zealand," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1277-1295, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bryce Wilkinson & Trinh Le, 2008. "Is poor household saving the cause of New Zealand's high current account deficit?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22024, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Juan Pablo Medina & Anella Munro & Claudio Soto, 2008. "What Drives the Current Account in Comodity Exporting Countries? The Cases of Chile and New Zealand," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Kevin Cowan & Sebastián Edwards & Rodrigo O. Valdés & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt- (ed.), Current Account and External Financing, edition 1, volume 12, chapter 10, pages 369-434 Central Bank of Chile.
    3. Anthony Makin & Wei Zhang & Grant Scobie, 2009. "The contribution of foreign borrowing to the New Zealand economy," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 263-278.
    4. Daan Steenkamp, 2010. "New Zealand’s imbalances in a cross-country context," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 73, pages 37-49, December.
    5. Miles Workman, 2015. "Estimating the Cyclically- and Absorption-adjusted Fiscal Balance for New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 15/09, New Zealand Treasury.
    6. Chris Bloor & Rebecca Craigie & Anella Munro, 2012. "The macroeconomic effects of a stable funding requirement," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2012/05, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    7. Chris Hunt, 2008. "Financial turmoil and global imbalances: the end of Bretton Woods II?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 71, September.
    8. Anella Munro & Rishab Sethi, 2006. "The Present Value Model and New Zealand’s Current Account," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2006/12, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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