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Structural Policy Reforms and External Imbalances

  • Mike Kennedy
  • Torsten Sløk

It has been argued that one solution to global current account imbalances is for countries with current account surpluses to undertake structural reforms. This would raise their potential growth, which is assumed to put downward pressure on the current account position. This paper takes a closer look at how such structural reforms in labour markets, product markets, and financial markets could be expected to affect current accounts. It also tests empirically, using pooled time-series techniques (that control for the influence of relative cyclical positions, government fiscal balances and the real exchange rate), whether or not reforms in these areas would have any significant relationship with current accounts. The overall finding is that indicators of structural reforms do have a significant relationship with the current account but the contribution of these variables to explain current account positions is quite limited ... Politique de réformes structurelles et balances extérieures Il a été démontré qu’une solution au déséquilibre de la balance des opérations courantes dans les pays ayant un excédant serait d’entreprendre des réformes structurelles. Cela devrait augmenter leur potentiel de croissance, ce qui est supposé soulager la pression sur la situation de la balance des opérations courantes. Cet article examine de près comment de telles réformes structurelles dans les marchés financiers, du travail et de la production sont susceptibles d’influer les comptes courants. Il vérifie aussi empiriquement, au moyen d’un ensemble de séries temporelles techniques (lesquelles contrôlent l’influence des situations conjoncturelles relatives, l’équilibre budgétaire et le taux de changes réèl) si des réformes dans ces secteurs ont une relation significative avec les comptes courants. Il en ressort que ces indicateurs de réformes structurelles ont une relation significative avec les comptes courants, mais que la contribution de ces variables à l'explication de la ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 415.

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Date of creation: 24 Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:415-en
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