IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Are Global Imbalances Sustainable?: Post-Crisis Scenarios

Listed author(s):
  • Luiz de Mello


  • Pier Carlo Padoan


This paper assesses the sustainability of global imbalances by testing for the presence of unit roots in the current account positions (measured in relation to GDP) of the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the oil-exporting countries using a methodology that allows for structural breaks in levels and trends. We find that the external positions of these major countries/regions are stationary around structural breaks, which define episodes of current account reversals. On the basis of an event analysis of past reversals, it appears that structural breaks are associated with shifts in the fiscal stance, exchange rate parities and potential output growth, a finding that underscores the scope for macroeconomic and structural policies to ensure the sustainability of external positions while avoiding potentially disruptive reversals. These findings have implications for long-term capital flows after the crisis. Les déséquilibres mondiaux sont-ils soutenables ? : Les scénarios d'après la crise Cette étude évalue la soutenabilité des déséquilibres globaux par des tests de racines unitaires dans le solde de la balance courante (mesurée par rapport au PIB) des États-Unis, de la Chine, du Japon, de l’Allemagne et des pays exportateurs de pétrole en utilisant une méthodologie qui permet des ruptures structurelles dans les niveaux et les tendances des séries statistiques. Nous constatons que les soldes de la balance courante de ces grands pays ou régions sont stationnaires autour de ruptures structurelles qui définissent les épisodes de retournement du solde de la balance courante. Sur la base d’une analyse des situations qui ont conduit aux retournements précédents, il semble que les ruptures structurelles soient associées à des changements de politique budgétaire, de parités de taux de change et de croissance potentielle, une constatation qui souligne la portée des politiques macroéconomiques et structurelles pour assurer la soutenabilité de la balance courante tout en évitant des retournements potentiellement perturbateurs. Ces résultats ont des implications pour les flux de capitaux à long terme après la crise.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 795.

in new window

Date of creation: 21 Jul 2010
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:795-en
Contact details of provider: Postal:
2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16

Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:795-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.