The U.S. external deficit: its causes and persistence
Macroeconomic policies, competitiveness, and U.S. external adjustment
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the relationships among the U.S. external balance, exchange rates, macroeconomic policies, and longer-term trends in relative labor productivity. Movements in the U.S. external balance over the past two decades have been determined to a substantial degree by shifts in U.S. international price and cost competitiveness. Movements in price and cost competitiveness, in turn, have been dominated by swings in nominal exchange rates, which can be explained to a large extent by shifts in fiscal and monetary policies at home and abroad. A longer-term ...
Exchange rates and U.S. external adjustment in the short run and the long run
The objective of this paper attempts to reconcile PPP-based views are model-based views about prospects for V.S. external adjustment in the medium term. Projections based on conventional models of the current account do not fully capture ongoing adjustments to exchange rate changes that are implicit in long-run PPP theory. In particular, the model-based projections fail to capture longer-run shifts in relative output capacity in response to sustained cost differentials (or deviations from absolute purchasing power parity) across countries. Such supply-side adjustments appear to have been ...
Domestic and cross-border consequences of U.S. macroeconomic policies
This paper reviews empirical evidence about the effects of changes in U.S. monetary policy and fiscal policy that has been accumulated during recent years in a series of collaborative research projects involving a variety of global macroeconometric models. The paper also considers, in particular, the consequences over the next five to six years for key U.S. and foreign economic variables of a significant U.S. fiscal contraction. The quantitative implications of both alternative fiscal spending and tax actions, and alternative treatments of expectations (adaptive versus rational) are analyzed. ...
U.S. external adjustment: progress and prospects
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the progress in U.S. external adjustment through 1988 and prospects for continued adjustment over the years ahead. Our analysis, based in part on a partial-equilibrium model of the U.S. current account, suggests that adjustment was slower than "expected" during 1986-87, and faster than expected during the first half of 1988. The model was about "on track" in the second quarter of 1988, but did not anticipate the drop off in the trade balance in the second half of the year. We consider various model extrapolations of the U.S. external ...
Trade elasticities for G-7 countries
This paper reports the results of a project to estimate and test the stability properties of conventional equations relating real imports and exports of goods and services for the G-7 countries to their incomes and relative prices. We begin by estimating cointegration vectors and the error-correction formulations. We then test the stability of these equations using Chow and Kalman-Filter tests. The evidence suggests three findings. First, conventional trade equations and elasticities are stable enough, in most cases, to perform adequately in forecasting and policy simulations. Equations for ...
Exchange rates, prices, and external adjustment in the United States and Japan
This paper studies the responsiveness of external balances--trade volumes and prices--to changes in exchange rates. Our objectives are twofold: to provide an analytical review of the literature in this area and to assess the influence of exchange rate movements on external adjustment in the two countries whose external imbalances have dominated all others over the past decade, the United States and Japan. ; We find that the conventional partial-equilibrium model of the trade balance has performed generally quite well in predicting the path of the U.S. and Japanese external balance over the ...
International comparisons of labor costs in manufacturing
This paper presents a comparative study of the level of unit labor costs in the manufacturing sectors of several countries. The paper begins by surveying earlier estimates of relative productivity and unit labor cost levels and evaluating the various methodologies that have been used in previous studies. Empirical estimates of the levels of foreign unit labor costs in dollars are derived based on labor compensation translated into dollars at nominal exchange rates and labor productivity translated into dollars at purchasing power parity exchange rates. These estimates are compared with ...