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Neus Dausà

8 February 2023
We revisit the so-called ”secular international problem”, whereby the adjustment of current account imbalances purportedly falls entirely on the shoulders of deficit countries. We introduce a stylised model to rationalise an asymmetric counter-cyclical policy reaction that is stronger for deficit countries. When considering large current account adjustments (both deficits and surpluses) in advanced and emerging economies, we find surprisingly little evidence of greater policy activism in deficit countries. However, large surplus adjustments are less frequent. Moreover, when we look at current account (terms of trade) shocks we do find some evidence of asymmetry in the sense that fiscal policy is tightened only in reaction to shocks leading to a larger deficit position. Finally, being in a banking crisis leads to a more counter-cyclical response to negative current account shocks, partly mitigated by a stronger NFA position and a higher quality of institutions for emerging economies.
JEL Code
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics