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Global Imbalances and Currency Wars at the ZLB

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  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas

Abstract

This paper explores the consequences of extremely low equilibrium real interest rates in a world with integrated but heterogenous capital markets, and nominal rigidities. In this context, we establish six main results: (i) Economies experiencing liquidity traps pull others into a similar situation by running current account surpluses; (ii) Reserve currencies have a tendency to bear a disproportionate share of the global liquidity trap--a phenomenon we dub the \reserve currency paradox;" (iii) Beggar-thy-neighbor exchange rate devaluations stimulate the domestic domestic economy at the expense of other economies; (iv) While more price and wage exibility exacerbates the risk of adeflationary global liquidity trap, it is the more rigid economies that bear the brunt of the recession; (v) (Safe) Public debt issuances and increases in government spending anywhere are expansionary everywhere, and more so when there is some degree of price or wage exibility. We use our model to shed light on the evolution of global imbalances,interest rates, and exchange rates since the beginning of the global financial crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2016. "Global Imbalances and Currency Wars at the ZLB," Working Paper 344401, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:344401
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2017. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1427-1467.
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    6. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, "undated". "Fiscal Multipliers: Liquidity Traps and Currency Unions," Working Paper 78556, Harvard University OpenScholar.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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