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Demographic Trends, Fiscal Policy and Trade Deficits

  • Andrea Ferrero


    (Economics New York University)

In this paper, I argue that demographic factors play a central role in accounting for the trade deficit experienced by the U.S. during the last three decades. The main idea is that cross-country demographic differentials lead to adjustments in savings and investments which are associated with international capital flows towards relatively young and rapidly growing economies. I develop a tractable two-country framework with life-cycle structure that formalizes this intuition. The model permits to illustrate analytically and quantitatively the contribution of demographic variables in determining the equilibrium trade balance. I show that persistent differences in population aging can explain a significant fraction of the negative trend in the U.S. trade balance. Notably, the explicit consideration of the demographic transition also helps to reconcile the dynamics of the trade balance with the evolution of the U.S. fiscal deficits and generates a declining pattern for the real interest rate broadly consistent with the data

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 444.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:444
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Fabio Ghironi, 2000. "Macroeconomic Interdependence under Incomplete Markets," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 471, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 07 Feb 2003.
  5. Juillard, Michel, 1996. "Dynare : a program for the resolution and simulation of dynamic models with forward variables through the use of a relaxation algorithm," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9602, CEPREMAP.
  6. Robin Brooks, 2003. "Population Aging and Global Capital Flows in a Parallel Universe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(2), pages 3.
  7. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "Overlapping families of infinitely-lived agents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 183-198, March.
  8. Evans, Paul, 1987. "Do budget deficits raise nominal interest rates? : Evidence from six countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 281-300, September.
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