Budget deficits and the current account balance: New evidence from panel data


This study examines two distinguishing predictions of the finite-horizon open-economy macroeconomic models regarding the effect of fiscal policy on the current account balance: (1) Given the path of government expenditures, a fall in public savings has an adverse effect on the current account balance, and (2) a bond-financed increase in government expenditures exerts a larger adverse effect on the current account balance than a tax-financed alternative. These predictions are vastly different from those of the Ricardian theory. According to this view, (1) lower public savings are met by equal increases in desired private savings, and thus the current account balance does not change, and (2) the response of current account balance to a change in government spending is independent of its financing methods. Empirical analysis of 63 countries is consistent with the conventional theory.

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Mohammadi, H. Budget deficits and the current account balance: New evidence from panel data. J Econ Finan 28, 39–45 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02761453

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  • Current Account
  • Fiscal Policy
  • Real Exchange Rate
  • Government Expenditure
  • Government Spending