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Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis

David Laibson and Johanna Mollerstrom

No 15759, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Bernanke (2005) hypothesized that a "global savings glut" was causing large trade imbalances. However, we show that the global savings rates did not show a robust upward trend during the relevant period. Moreover, if there had been a global savings glut there should have been a large investment boom in the countries that imported capital. Instead, those countries experienced consumption booms. National asset bubbles explain the international imbalances. The bubbles raised consumption, resulting in large trade deficits. In a sample of 18 OECD countries plus China, movements in home prices alone explain half of the variation in trade deficits.

JEL-codes: E02 F01 G01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba and nep-opm
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (88)

Published as David Laibson & Johanna Mollerstrom, 2010. "Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 354-374, 05.

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Journal Article: Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis (2010)
Working Paper: Capital Flows, Consumption Booms and Asset Bubbles: A Behavioural Alternative to the Savings Glut Hypothesis (2010) Downloads
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