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The "great moderation'' and the US external imbalance

  • Fabrizio Perri

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Alessandra Fogli

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

The early 1980s marked the onset of two striking features of the current world macroeconomy: the fall in U.S. business cycle volatility (the ggreat moderationh) and the large and persistent U.S. external imbalance. In this paper, we argue that an external imbalance is a natural consequence of the great moderation. If a country experiences a fall in volatility greater than that of its partners, its incentives to accumulate precautionary savings fall and this results in a permanent deterioration of its external balance. To assess how much of the current U.S. imbalance can be explained by this channel, we consider a standard two-country business cycle model in which households are subject to business cycle shocks they cannot perfectly insure against. The model suggests that a fall in business cycle volatility like that observed in the United States can account for about 20 percent of the actual U.S. external imbalance.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2007 Meeting Papers with number 41.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed007:41
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  1. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial Globalization and Real Regionalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3268, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Mendoza, Enrique G & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," CEPR Discussion Papers 6149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
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