Global Current Account Imbalances: American Fiscal Policy versus East Asian Savings

20 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Menzie David Chinn

Menzie David Chinn

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Hiro Ito

Portland State University - Department of Economics

Abstract

We consider the origins of global current account imbalances. We first discuss how the expansion of the US current account deficit and the decrease in global real interest rates can be reconciled with the widespread view that American expansionary fiscal policy is partly the source of current trends. We then investigate empirically the medium-term determinants of the current account using a model that controls for factors related to institutional development. In addition to the conventional macroeconomic factors, we examine a series of environmental factors, including the degree of financial openness and the extent of legal development. We find that for industrial countries, the government budget balance is an important determinant of the current account balance; the budget balance coefficient is 0.10 to 0.49 depending on model specifications. These varying estimates lead us to conclude that fiscal factors might be as important as excess savings arising from East Asia.

Suggested Citation

Chinn, Menzie David and Ito, Hiro, Global Current Account Imbalances: American Fiscal Policy versus East Asian Savings. Review of International Economics, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 479-498, August 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158797 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9396.2008.00741.x

Menzie David Chinn (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States
608-262-7397 (Phone)
608-262-2033 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Hiro Ito

Portland State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Portland, OR 97207-0751
United States
503-725-3930 (Phone)
503-725-3945 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.econ.pdx.edu

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