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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 ...

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Kennedy & Torsten Sløk, 2005. "Structural Policy Reforms and External Imbalances," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 415, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:415-en
    DOI: 10.1787/874440708453

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    Cited by:

    1. Holger Zemanek & Ansgar Belke & Gunther Schnabl, 2010. "Current account balances and structural adjustment in the euro area," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 83-127, May.
    2. S M Ali Abbas & Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe & Antonio Fatás & Paolo Mauro & Ricardo C Velloso, 2011. "Fiscal Policy and the Current Account," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(4), pages 603-629, November.
    3. Allegret, Jean-Pierre & Couharde, Cécile & Coulibaly, Dramane & Mignon, Valérie, 2014. "Current accounts and oil price fluctuations in oil-exporting countries: The role of financial development," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 185-201.
    4. S. Deroose & E. Flores & A. Turrini, 2006. "Proceedings from the ECFIN Workshop "The budgetary implications of structural reforms" - Brussels, 2 December 2005," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 248, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
    6. Romain Duval & Jørgen Elmeskov, 2005. "The Effects of EMU on Structural Reforms in Labour and Product Markets," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 438, OECD Publishing.
    7. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
    8. Luiz de Mello & Pier Carlo Padoan & Linda Rousová, 2012. "Are Global Imbalances Sustainable? Shedding Further Light on the Causes of Current Account Reversals," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 489-516, August.
    9. Alexander Culiuc & Annette J Kyobe, 2017. "Structural Reforms and External Rebalancing," IMF Working Papers 17/182, International Monetary Fund.
    10. António Afonso & Philemon Kwame Opoku, 2018. "The Relationship between Fiscal and Current Account Imbalances in OECD Economies," Working Papers REM 2018/61, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.

    More about this item


    balance des opérations courantes; current account; réforme structurelle; structural reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General

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