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Intertemporal sustainability of current account imbalances: New evidence from the OECD countries

Tarlok Singh

Economic Notes, 2019, vol. 48, issue 2

Abstract: This study estimates the intertemporal model for the relationship between exports and imports and examines the sustainability of current account deficits (CADs) and the validity of intertemporal budget constraint for 24 Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development countries. The standard ordinary least squares (OLS)‐based two‐step Engle and Granger test, the cointegration regression Durbin–Watson (CRDW) test, and the Stock–Watson test performed on the one‐regime model with time‐invariant parameters and no structural break provide mixed support for the presence of cointegration between exports and imports. The recursive least squares‐based cumulative sum of recursive residuals (CUSUM) and the cumulative sum of squares of recursive residuals (CUSUMSQ) tests and the OLS‐based Andrews‐Quandt (AQ) and Andrews – Ploberger (AP) tests suggest the presence of structural breaks in the long‐run relationship between exports and imports for a number of countries. The end‐of‐sample new cointegration breakdown tests performed on the OLS, fully modified OLS, and full‐information maximum‐likelihood estimates of the model suggest the presence of cointegration between exports and imports for most countries. The dominant support for cointegration between trade flows points toward the sustainability of CADs and the validity of intertemporal budget constraint. The macroeconomic stabilization policies seem to have been effective in correcting the market failures and maintaining the steady‐state equilibrium relationship between trade flows in the sample countries. The findings of this study have important implications for empirical research. The structural breaks in the cointegrating vector could occur even over the short time periods and at any point in time. It is essentially important to assess the sustainability of the external position in the presence of long‐period as well as short‐period breaks in the cointegrating vector.

Date: 2019
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