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An asymmetry matrix in global current accounts


  • Schnabl, Gunther
  • Freitag, Stephan


The paper discusses global imbalances under the aspect of an asymmetric world monetary system. It identifies the US and euro area (Germany) as center countries with rising current account deficits (US) and surpluses (Germany) which are matched by respective current account surpluses of coun-tries stabilizing their exchange rates against the dollar (dollar periphery) and rising current account deficits of the countries stabilizing their exchange rate against the euro (euro periphery). The paper finds that the changes of the world current account positions are driven by the macroeconomic pol-icy decisions in the centers. In particular, expansionary monetary and fiscal policies in the US are argued to have triggered rising current account surpluses of the dollar periphery countries, as mone-tary and fiscal sterilization policies in the periphery contribute to rising saving surpluses.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnabl, Gunther & Freitag, Stephan, 2009. "An asymmetry matrix in global current accounts," Working Papers 76, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:leiwps:76

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
    2. William R. Cline, 2005. "The Case for a New Plaza Agreement," Policy Briefs PB05-04, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    3. Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2007. "Will the Euro Eventually Surpass the Dollar as Leading International Reserve Currency?," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 283-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2009. "Financial markets and the current account: emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 531-550, October.
    5. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The East Asian Dollar Standard, Fear of Floating, and Original Sin," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 331-360, August.
    6. Gabriele Galati & Philip Wooldridge, 2009. "The euro as a reserve currency: a challenge to the pre-eminence of the US dollar?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 1-23.
    7. Schnabl, Gunther & Schobert, Franziska, 2007. "Monetary Policy Operations of Debtor Central Banks in MENA Countries," MPRA Paper 5474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Fujii, Eiji, 2007. "The overvaluation of Renminbi undervaluation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 762-785, September.
    9. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2007. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup’s Wardrobe and the Joneses," CESifo Working Paper Series 2065, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2009. "The Case for Stabilizing China's Exchange Rate: Setting the Stage for Fiscal Expansion," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(1), pages 1-32.
    11. Jeffrey Frankel, 2006. "On the Yuan: The Choice between Adjustment under a Fixed Exchange Rate and Adjustment under a Flexible Rate," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(2), pages 246-275, June.
    12. McKinnon, Ronald & Schnabl, Gunther, 2006. "Devaluing the dollar: A critical analysis of William Cline's case for a New Plaza Agreement," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 683-694, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Georg QUAAS, 2010. "Was The Worldwide Asymmetry In Current Accounts Caused By The Macroeconomic Policy Of The Global Economy’S Leader?," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 5(2(12)/Sum), pages 138-146.
    2. Ansgar Belke & Gunther Schnabl & Holger Zemanek, 2013. "Real Convergence, Capital Flows, and Competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 886-900, November.
    3. Quaas, Georg, 2010. "Does the macroeconomic policy of the global economy’s leader cause the worldwide asymmetry in current accounts?," MPRA Paper 22133, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0147 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ansgar Belke & Gunther Schnabl & Holger Zemanek, 2009. "Real Convergence, Capital Flows, and Competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 0147, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item


    Global Imbalances; Asymmetric World Monetary System; Twin Deficit; Twin Surplus; International Currency;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements


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