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Article

Getaneh Mihret Ayele

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether real exchange rate devaluation improves the current account balance of four highly indebted low-income countries of East Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether real exchange rate devaluation improves the current account balance of four highly indebted low-income countries of East Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The pooled mean group (PMG) approach is used for panel data from four countries over the period 1970–2016. The paper also applied bound testing and ARDL model for time-series data from individual sample countries.

Findings

The panel PMG/ARDL estimation result reveals that real exchange rate devaluation has no significant impact on the current account balance, both in the short and long run. However, the time-series analysis using the bound testing and restricted ARDL estimation suggests that real exchange rate devaluation improves the current account balance in the long run for only Ethiopia. The overall empirical results reveal that the current account balance would improve with the rising domestic income while it deteriorates with increasing foreign income and external indebtedness in the long run.

Originality/value

The paper is original.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

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Article

Magda Kandil

The purpose of this paper is to establish a model to study the determinants of financial flows, portfolio and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, and the impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish a model to study the determinants of financial flows, portfolio and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, and the impact of these determinants on economic variables in samples of developing and advanced countries. The analysis then turns to an evaluation of the effects of external flows on economic activity.

Design/methodology/approach

To that end, the paper follows a two‐step procedure. First, the paper estimates a series of reduced‐form equations in differenced form, using annual data, for the current and the financial account balances as well as important underlying components, using a number of macroeconomic indicators reflecting the state of the business cycle as explanatory variables. These include not only a measure of economic growth, but also other factors that vary cyclically, such as the exchange rate and energy prices. In addition, the paper examines the effect of positive and negative shocks to these and other cyclical variables on components of the balance of payments. Second, the results are summarized in three directions. First, cross‐country correlations evaluate time‐series co‐movements between the current account balance and external flows with respect to major determinants of cyclicality across the samples of advanced and developing countries. Second, time‐series regressions evaluate the direct effects of financial flows on the current account balance within the samples of developing and advanced countries. Third, cross‐country regressions evaluate the impact of movements in trend and variability of financial flows on major economic indicators across the samples of developing and advanced countries.

Findings

The results are summarized in three directions. Across the samples of advanced and developing countries, the pervasive evidence highlights the negative correlation between the responses of the current account balance and the financial balance with respect to the various sources of cyclicality in the time‐series model. Second, using time‐series regressions the bulk of the evidence indicates that an increase in financial flows helps finance a widening current account deficit. Third, cross‐country regressions evaluate the impact of movements in trend and variability of financial flows on major economic indicators across the samples of developing and advanced countries. While FDI flows appear significant in differentiating growth performance within and across developing countries, their effects appear to be limited on growth performance in advanced countries. Portfolio flows are more relevant, compared to FDI flows, to financing a wider current account deficit, both in developing and advanced countries.

Originality/value

Overall, the evidence presented in this paper establishes the importance of financial flows to external balances and macroeconomic performance within and across the samples of developing and advanced countries. In light of this evidence, macroeconomic policies should target a combination of external balances that can be easily financed by external inflows and align domestic policies to achieve the desired cyclicality in external balances, available financing, and macroeconomic performance.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

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Article

Magda Kandil

The purpose of this paper is to study the role of public and private imbalances in the cyclicality of the current account balance in a sample of advanced and developing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the role of public and private imbalances in the cyclicality of the current account balance in a sample of advanced and developing countries. Within developing countries, the evidence does not establish the dependency of private investment on private savings and private consumption is the main driver of the saving/investment balance. In contrast, private savings seem to be better mobilized to finance private investment and the latter is the main driver of the saving/investment balance in advanced countries. Deterioration in the current account balance in response to higher private consumption could be detrimental to growth and external stability. In contrast, an investment strategy that promotes growth is likely to attract financial flows and reduce the risk of a widening current account deficit on external stability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper studies determinants of the current account deficit. It studies current account fluctuations in the short‐run and explains these fluctuations by analyzing movements in the underlying components: public and private savings as well as investments and resulting imbalances. Of particular interest is the interaction between the government budget deficit, the private saving/investment balance, and the current account balance.

Findings

Using time‐series estimates, co‐movements indicate that fluctuations in the current account balance in many advanced countries appear to be driven by private investment that determines cyclicality in imports. In contrast, cyclicality in the current account appears to be driven by private consumption that determines fluctuations in imports in many developing countries. In general, fluctuations in the government budget deficit are mostly driven by government investment and fluctuations in the private saving/investment balance are mostly driven by fluctuations in private investment. Further, fluctuations in the current account balance appear to be mostly driven by fluctuations in the private saving/investment balance.

Originality/value

The paper explains the dynamics of the current account in relation to developments in public and private imbalances and its underlying components. It shows the effects of changes in the budget deficit and its underlying components on cyclicality in the current account. Similarly, cyclicality in the current account balance with cyclical movements in private savings and investment is studied, along with which factors affect the components of the current account balance. In particular, the paper establishes which components of the current account significantly respond to the cyclical changes in macroeconomic variables.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

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Article

John Doukas and Steve Lifland

The essence of the modern asset‐market approach to the analysis of exchange rate behavior includes the role of the trade balance account. We examine the relationship…

Abstract

The essence of the modern asset‐market approach to the analysis of exchange rate behavior includes the role of the trade balance account. We examine the relationship between exchange rate changes and US trade balance announcements. Statistically significant exchange rate adjustments to these announcements are documented using for the first time the comparison period approach to testing the significance of trade balance announcements on exchange rates. The evidence is consistent with the predictions of the modern asset‐market exchange rate model. There is also evidence that the foreign exchange market is more sensitive to increasing rather than decreasing trade balance deficit announcements. To date, a number of theoretical papers have investigated the possible sources of the exchange rate determination process (see, Dornbusch [1976,1980], Dornbusch and Fisher [1980], Frenkel [1976, 1981], Kouri [1976], and Mussa [1982], among others). There is no consensus on how exchange rates are determined and why they have exhibited increased volatility lately. The interpretations vary widely among the various theories, ranging from the flow‐market approach to the modern asset‐market view. The asset‐market approach of exchange rates is based on the principle that the current value of the exchange rate (i.e. the relative price of two national currencies) is influenced not only by current economic conditions but also by expectations of its future value and, therefore, by the information that underlies these expectations. The asset‐market literature on the determination of exchange rates establishes a direct relationship between changes in the exchange rate and the current account (or trade balance account). For example, Mussa [1982] shows that the equilibrium exchange rate depends on expectations about the exogenous factors that affect the current account in present and future periods. A central implication of the asset‐market view is that “innovations” in the current account induce unexpected changes in the exchange rate. This is because an innovation in the current account, defined as a deviation of the current account balance from its previously expected level, conveys information about changes in economic conditions relevant for determining the equilibrium exchange rate (see Mussa [1982]). For example, if a country experiences an unexpectedly strong trade balance performance, this might be perceived to imply changes in relative economic efficiency, product demand, or international competitiveness that will improve the current account in future periods leading to an appreciation of the foreign value of the domestic currency. In essence, the asset‐market view argues that information about changes in real economic conditions requiring exchange rate adjustments can be inferred from innovations in the trade balance and/or the current account. Dornbusch and Fischer [1980] also argue that while asset markets determine exchange rates, it is the current account through its effect on net asset positions, and subsequently on asset markets, which influences the path of the foreign exchange rate. Thus, it can be argued that unanticipated current account announcements should be associated with exchange rate movements immediately following such announcements. While the relationship between the current account and the exchange rate has been extensively analyzed, the empirical evidence pertaining to the association between exchange rates and the current account has produced mixed results. Hardouvelis [1988] examines the effects of macroeconomic news, including US trade balance announcements, on three interest rates and seven exchange rates over the October 1979 to August 1984 period. He reports that announcements of the trade deficit have no statistically significant effects on interest rates, with the exception of the three‐month T‐bill rates and the exchange rates. The evidence with respect to the short‐term interest rate reactions may be associated with the fact that the “Federal Reserve Bank throughout the 1977–1984 period was unable to establish full credibility among market participants about its fight against inflation” (see Hardouvelis [1988]). Deravi et al [1988] have also investigated the financial market's response to US balance of trade announcements. They find similar results to those reported in Hardouvelis [1988] for the February 1980 to February 1985 period, but they report a significant exchange rate response to trade deficit announcements over the March 1985 to July 1987 period. Irwin [1989], however, uncovered a significant breakdown in the relationship between trade balance announcements and dollar exchange rates during the month of June 1984; that is, larger trade deficits were found to be associated with the dollar's depreciations only in the post‐June 1984 period. Contrary to previous studies, Hogan et al [1991] find larger US trade balance deficits to have a significant effect on exchange rates throughout the 1980s. Because expected trade balance figures are available from the Money Market Service Inc. and since the trade balance figures according to Crystal and Wood [1980] represent 85 percent of the US current account, it apears that the trade balance serves as a good proxy for the current account. Therefore, we are able to test more directly the impact of the US trade balance announcements on the exchange rate. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between exchange rate changes and merchandise balance announcements using a sample of US trade figures spanning the period from August 1986 to April 1989. In the following, we refer to this relationship as the “current account hypothesis”. Unlike previous research, the analysis is based on unanticipated trade balance announcements in order to study the interaction between exchange rates and information contained in the trade balance announced figures as the asset‐market approach to exchange rate determination process predicts. Dornbusch [1980] used the official forecast errors of the Organization for Economic Co‐operation and Development (i.e. biannual six‐month forecasts for current account and exchange rates). In this study, we focus on the major component of the current account‐the trade balance‐to test the current account hypothesis. The trade balance account is by far the best proxy for the current account. Another differentiating aspect of this study from the previous research is that it relies on systematic trade balance announcements. The use of the Commerce Departments' announcements concerning the US merchandise trade balance has also been motivated by the growing financial and non‐financial press coverage of the monthly trade balance reports. Examples of how the financial press covers the monthly trade balance announcements include: 1. “A wider trade deficit jolts a fragile market, shares off 101 points, dollar falls, and interest rates surge as big gap surprises investors, central bankers”, The Wall Street Journal, April 5,1988. 2. “London stocks rise sharply on US trade news; shares close firmer in Tokyo for the second day”, The Wall Street Journal, May 18,1989. 3. “Tricks of the Trade. The huge currentaccount imbalances of the 1980s are disappearing fast. Good news? Maybe. But be warned: trade flows are less and less useful as indicators of economic performance” The Economist, March 30, 1991. 4. “Trade deficit grew in April to $6.97 billion… as exports continued to drop and imports jumped. The April deficit was the biggest monthly imbalance since a $9.49 billion deficit in November 1990. The trade gap in March was $5.58 billion. Economists say sluggish economic activity abroad is making it more difficult for US companies to sell their goods.” The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 1992. The different views registered in the financial press about the importance of the current account and trade balance imbalances in influencing exchange rate changes have further motivated the present study. Contrary to the current account hypothesis, it has been argued that because of the increasing integration of world capital markets, it is easier to finance current account deficits and therefore the trade balance or current account figures might be less useful as far as the determination of exchange rates is concerned. In addition, as a result of the increasing foreign investment activity, trade deficits may no longer represent purely national concepts. For example, a significant portion of a country's exports and imports may be accounted for by foreign firms with corporate operations there. Furthermore, US firms may decide to supply an overseas market either by exporting or by locating production abroad. Locally produced sales by US firms overseas, however, do not count as exports, nor do their local purchases of inputs count as imports. But from the firm's point of view, the local sales of a US subsidiary are viewed as being similar to exports. Therefore, it is argued that US trade balance deficits measured on the basis of residency rather than nationality of ownership, which is currently the norm, may mean less than it once did. Consequently, what emerges from the above is that the correlation between exchange rates and the information contained in the trade balance figures may be weaker than predicted by the asset‐market approach. Whether the current account or trade balance figures do matter as far as the determination of exchange rates is concerned is an empirical question. This article presents a first attempt at analyzing the impact of “innovations” in the US trade balance account on the exchange rate. An event study analysis is performed for the first time using trade balance announcement data from August 1986 to April 1989. The event methodology provides an appropriate direct test for the asset‐market model which predicts that unexpected changes in the exchange rate should be related to innovations in the current account (trade balance). The article is arranged as follows. Section II describes the data and methodology used. Section III presents empirical evidence on the relationship between exchange rates and innovations in the trade balance account. The article concludes with Section IV.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Book part

Rajmund Mirdala

Deficits in fiscal and current account balances in a large number of countries reveal interesting implications of the causal relationship between internal and external…

Abstract

Deficits in fiscal and current account balances in a large number of countries reveal interesting implications of the causal relationship between internal and external imbalances. Empirical evidence about the occurrence of so-called twin deficits or twin surpluses provides crucial information about the validity of an intertemporal approach. However, most recent dynamic cyclical changes during the crisis period revealed many questions about the direct interconnection between macroeconomic performance and twin imbalances. In the paper we observe substantial features of twin imbalances in European transition economies. Event study (identification of large fiscal and current account changes and their parallel occurrence) and vector auto-regression methods will be employed to examine key aspects of twin imbalances. Our results suggest that current account deteriorations were predominately associated with negative public investment and savings balances (fiscal deficits), while current account improvements were predominately associated with positive private investment and savings balances, confirming empirical evidence about twin deficits in European transition economies.

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Article

Moumita Basu and Ranjanendra Narayan Nag

This is a theoretical paper in the field of international macroeconomics. The purpose of this paper is to focus on a dynamic interaction between current account imbalance…

Abstract

Purpose

This is a theoretical paper in the field of international macroeconomics. The purpose of this paper is to focus on a dynamic interaction between current account imbalance and unemployment in response to some policy-induced shocks for a small open economy under a flexible exchange rate.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a two-sector framework: one sector is traded and another is the non-traded sector that is subject to an effective demand constraint. The current account imbalance arises due to the discrepancy between production of traded goods, household consumption of traded goods and government purchases of importables. The authors keep the asset structure simple by considering only domestic currency and foreign bonds that are imperfect substitutes. The paper considers a standard methodology of dynamic adjustment process involving change in foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate under perfect foresight. The saddle path properties of the equilibrium are also examined.

Findings

The results of comparative static exercises depend on a set of structural features of a developing country, which include asset substitutability, wage price rigidity and sectoral asymmetries. The paper shows that expansionary monetary policy, balanced budget fiscal expansion and financial liberalization have an ambiguous effect on the current account balance, foreign exchange reserves, non-traded sector and the level of employment.

Originality/value

The existence of Keynesian unemployment with fixed prices is the key ingredient of this paper. The paper introduces the problem of effective demand to analyze the dynamics of current account balance and exchange rate, which, in turn, determine the sectoral composition of output and level of employment.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

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Article

Javed Ahmad Bhat and Naresh Kumar Sharma

This paper aims to scrutinize the asymmetric interactions between current account deficit and gross fiscal deficit in case of a growing and dynamically integrated economy…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to scrutinize the asymmetric interactions between current account deficit and gross fiscal deficit in case of a growing and dynamically integrated economy, namely, India featured with high inequality and liquidity constraints. Two additional variables, trade-openness and output growth, are also incorporated into the analysis to assess their likely impact on the current account balance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a recently developed non-linear autoregressive distributed lag model given by Shin et al. (2014) in its empirical examination. In addition, non-linear cumulative dynamic multipliers are used to understand the route between disequilibrium position of short-run and subsequent long-run equilibrium of the system.

Findings

The study confirms the long-run co-movements of current account deficit and gross fiscal deficit and therefore refutes the Ricardian Equivalence proposition and validates the twin-deficit hypothesis. But instead of a linear relationship of the kind examined in the previous studies, the two variables share asymmetric linkages – both in the short run and in the long run. The asymmetry indicates that positive changes are more influential than their negative counterparts in the short run, whereas in the long run, only the positive changes are found to alter the external balance statistically. The asymmetric impact of fiscal deficits on the current account balance of a country may arise due to its asymmetric impact on aggregate demand through consumption inflexibility (ratchet effect) and the existence of liquidity constraints. The other control variables used in the study are also found to have cointegration with the current account deficit, but the relationship is symmetrical in the long run, even though it is asymmetrical in the short run. The study finally uses the asymmetric cumulative dynamic multipliers to examine the route of asymmetries and adjustments over the course of time. The dynamic multipliers also confirm the results documented in the earlier part and therefore demonstrate their robustness.

Practical implications

The asymmetric results obtained in the study provide strong grounds to devise the policies adaptive to changing arenas in domestic and external sectors. Output growth, export promotion and import substitution, increasing integration and fiscal austerity are seen as helpful in achieving a desired (and growth conducive) external balance together with macroeconomic stability. The need for a prudent fiscal policy and avoidance of profligacy is indicated based on the asymmetric results to ward off any unfavorable impact of fiscal deficits on external account. To conduct a sound fiscal policy, the government needs to cut down unproductive consumption expenditure, raise tax revenues and should pay attention to distribution and trickle-down effects to avoid the adversity of high inequality and liquidity constraints in the economy. Moreover, to ameliorate the current account balance, policies aimed at increasing the real competitiveness through control of domestic price fluctuations and improvement in the quality of tradable goods and services (such as productive investments and technological advancements) should be adopted.

Originality/value

Work reported in the present paper is motivated by the fact that there is no study conducted so far in the Indian context which has analyzed the two deficits in a nonlinear framework. The authors have used a well-articulated nonlinear asymmetric technique to examine the relationship between two deficits when asymmetry is incorporated. This paper will, therefore, enrich the existing literature along the lines of asymmetric linkages. Moreover, the traverse of asymmetries and adjustments over the course of time highlights the inherent dynamism of the relationship.

Details

Journal of Financial Economic Policy, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-6385

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Article

Wondemhunegn Ezezew Melesse

Public debt management is now an integral part of overall macroeconomic management in many developing and emerging market economies. Preventing unsustainable debt…

Abstract

Purpose

Public debt management is now an integral part of overall macroeconomic management in many developing and emerging market economies. Preventing unsustainable debt accumulation and maintaining healthy fiscal profile begins with understanding its key drivers both in the short and in the long run. The purpose of this paper is to analyze public debt and current account dynamics in Ethiopia.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies structural vector auto-regressive (SVAR) model on annual time series data to study general government debt and current account dynamics in Ethiopia for the period 1980–2018.

Findings

Both the impulse response and forecast error variance decomposition results confirm that fiscal balance exerts the strongest influence on both government debt and current account balance in the short run. In addition, own shock as well as shocks stemming from gross fixed capital formation and growth have significant effects on general government debt. The findings were robust to alternative data transformation, differing Choleski ordering of the model variables, and inclusion of exogenous deterministic terms that capture changes in the political landscape.

Practical implications

The most important implication is that since fiscal balance is the strongest determinant of both public debt and current account balance, public investment efficiency is relevant here than anywhere else in the national economy. A recent study by Barhoumi et al. (2018) found that the sub-Saharan region lags behind its peers in terms of public sector investment efficiency with inefficiency gap of as large as 54% depending on the indicator variable for public investment output. Improving public investment spending efficiency would reduce government debt by enhancing productivity and growth – which has significant negative effect on public debt.

Originality/value

First, the few studies conducted on Ethiopia are dominated by single equation specifications and do not account for the possibility of endogenous feedback effects among the model variables. Second, still equally important is the role of rising gross fixed capital formation in Ethiopia, which increased from about 13% (relative to GDP) in the 1980s to about 35% in the 2010s. Ignoring this variable amounts to a major model misspecification when analyzing short-run macro dynamics in low-income economies. Finally, the paper complements existing limited studies on Ethiopia by comparing the strength of shock propagation mechanisms using alternative data transformation techniques.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Economics, Econometrics and the LINK: Essays in Honor of Lawrence R.Klein
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44481-787-7

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Abstract

Details

The Exorbitant Burden
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-641-0

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