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Short- And Medium-Term Determinants Of Current Account Balances In Middle East And North Africa Countries

  • Aleksander Aristovnik

    ()

The main aim of the paper is to examine the short- and medium-term empirical link between current account balances and a broad set of (economic) variables proposed by theoretical and empirical literature. The paper focuses on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), an economically diverse region, which has so far mainly been neglected in such empirical analyzes. For this purpose, a (dynamic) panel-regression technique is used to characterize the properties of current account variations across selected MENA economies in the 1971-2005 period. The results, which are generally consistent with theoretical and previous empirical analyses, indicate that higher (domestic and foreign) investment, government expenditure and foreign interest rates have a negative effect on the current account balance. On the other hand, a more open economy, higher oil prices and domestic economic growth generate an improvement in the external balance, whereas the latter implies that the domestic growth rate is associated with a larger increase in domestic savings than investment. Finally, the results show a relatively high persistency of current accounts and reject the validity of the stages of development hypothesis as poorer countries in the region reveal a higher current account surplus (or lower deficit).

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Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number wp862.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2007-862
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  1. Menzie D. Chinn & Eswar S. Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 7581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Iscan, Talan B., 2000. "The terms of trade, productivity growth and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 587-611, June.
  10. Aaron Tornell & Philip Lane, 1994. "Are Windfalls a Curse? A Non-Representative Agent Model of the Current Account and Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 4839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
  12. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Herrmann, Sabine & Jochem, Axel, 2005. "Determinants of current account developments in the central and east European EU member states - consequences for the enlargement of the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  14. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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