External Adjustment and the Global Crisis

49 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2011

See all articles by Philip R. Lane

Philip R. Lane

Trinity College (Dublin) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Central Bank of Ireland

Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

International Monetary Fund (IMF); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

The period preceding the global financial crisis was characterized by a substantial widening of current account imbalances across the world. Since the onset of the crisis, these imbalances have contracted to a significant extent. In this paper, we analyze the ongoing process of external adjustment in advanced economies and emerging markets. We find that countries whose pre-crisis current account balances were in excess of what could be explained by standard economic fundamentals have experienced the largest contractions in their external balance. We subsequently examine the contributions of real exchange rates, domestic demand and domestic output to the adjustment process (allowing for differences across exchange rate regimes) and find that external adjustment in deficit countries was achieved primarily through demand compression, rather than expenditure switching. Finally, we show that changes in other investment flows were the main channel of financial account adjustment, with official external assistance and ECB liquidity cushioning the exit of private capital flows for some countries.

Suggested Citation

Lane, Philip R. and Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, External Adjustment and the Global Crisis (August 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17352. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918681

Philip R. Lane (Contact Author)

Trinity College (Dublin) - Department of Economics ( email )

Trinity College
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Central Bank of Ireland ( email )

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Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

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