Financial Integration and External Sustainability

51 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012

Date Written: July 1, 2012


A stable net external position requires that the trade balance responds negatively to changes in the net external position. If financial integration makes financing external imbalances less costly, we expect slower external adjustment in more integrated economies. The study estimates theoretically founded trade balance reaction functions for a panel of seventy countries from 1970-2008. The empirical analysis finds that adjustment in integrated economies is slower. Consistent with the presented theory, the trade balance of integrated economies is more persistent, responds less strongly to net foreign assets, and is more sensitive to fluctuations in net output. Under high integration, the response to the net external position is weak and close to the minimum required to ensure external sustainability.

Keywords: external sustainability, financial integration, reaction function, current account dynamics, net foreign assets

JEL Classification: F32, F36, F41

Suggested Citation

Towbin, Pascal, Financial Integration and External Sustainability (July 1, 2012). Banque de France Working Paper No. 388, Available at SSRN: or

Pascal Towbin (Contact Author)

Banque de France ( email )


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