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Global Imbalances and Currency Wars at the ZLB

Author

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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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    File URL: http://scholar.harvard.edu/farhi/node/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.
    2. Bernanke, B.S., 2011. "International capital flows and the returns to safe assets in the United States 2003-2007," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 15, pages 13-26, February.
    3. Christopher Erceg & Jesper Lindé, 2014. "Is There A Fiscal Free Lunch In A Liquidity Trap?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 73-107, February.
    4. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Romei, Federica, 2014. "Debt deleveraging and the exchange rate," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-16.
    5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    6. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, "undated". "Fiscal Multipliers: Liquidity Traps and Currency Unions," Working Paper 78556, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 145-166, Fall.
    8. David Cook & Michael B. Devereux, 2013. "Sharing the Burden: Monetary and Fiscal Responses to a World Liquidity Trap," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 190-228, July.
    9. Michael B. Devereux & James Yetman, 2014. "Capital Controls, Global Liquidity Traps, and the International Policy Trilemma," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(1), pages 158-189, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber, 2016. "Unconventional Fiscal Policy, Inflation Expectations, and Consumption Expenditure," CESifo Working Paper Series 5793, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Matteo Maggiori & Emmanuel Farhi, 2015. "A Model of the International Monetary System," Working Paper 349586, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    3. Anton Korinek, 2016. "Currency Wars or Efficient Spillovers? A General Theory of International Policy Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 23004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Banerjee, Ryan & Devereux, Michael B. & Lombardo, Giovanni, 2016. "Self-oriented monetary policy, global financial markets and excess volatility of international capital flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 275-297.
    5. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Lawrence H. Summers, 2016. "Secular Stagnation in the Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 503-507, May.
    6. Anton Korinek, 2017. "Currency wars or efficient spillovers?," BIS Working Papers 615, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Vadym Lepetyuk & Lilia Maliar & Serguei Maliar, 2017. "Should Central Banks Worry About Nonlinearities of their Large-Scale Macroeconomic Models?," Staff Working Papers 17-21, Bank of Canada.
    8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2016. "Safe Asset Scarcity and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 513-518, May.
    9. repec:eee:jetheo:v:176:y:2018:i:c:p:552-618 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Manuel, Lancastre, 2016. "Age Milestones and Low Interest Rates, an Analytic Approach," MPRA Paper 85046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2016. "International Coordination," NBER Working Papers 21878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Serranito, Francisco, 2015. "Dévaluation interne, politiques structurelles et réductions des déficits publics : les réponses apportées par la « troïka » sont-elles un remède aux déséquilibres externes des pays périphériques de la," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 18.
    13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Sanjay R. Singh & Lawrence H. Summers, 2016. "A Contagious Malady? Open Economy Dimensions of Secular Stagnation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 581-634, November.
    14. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:29-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Sweder van Wijnbergen, 2018. "On real interest rates, tariff policy, exchange rates and the ZLB," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-032/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2018. "Secular stagnation: Theory and remedies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 552-618.
    17. Huber, Florian & Punzi, Maria Teresa, 2017. "The shortage of safe assets in the US investment portfolio: Some international evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 318-336.
    18. Williams, John C., 2016. "Whither Inflation Targeting? Speech to the Hayek Group, Reno, Nevada, September 6, 2016," Speech 169, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    19. Amador, Manuel & Bianchi, Javier & Bocola, Luigi & Perri, Fabrizio, 2016. "Reverse speculative attacks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 125-137.
    20. Wüthrich, Nicolas, 2017. "Book review: review of Peter Spiegler's Behind the model: a constructive critique of economic modelling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2015. 201pp," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84037, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    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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