The intertemporal current account approach predicts that the current account of a small open economy is independent of global shocks, and that responses of the current account to country-specific shocks depend on the persistence of the shocks. The author shows that these predictions impose cross-equation restrictions (CERS) on a structural vector autoregression (SVAR). To test the CERs, the author develops identification schemes of the SVAR that exploit the orthogonality of the world real interest rate to country-specific shocks as well as the lack of a long-run response of net output to transitory shocks. Tests of the SVAR reveal two puzzling aspects of the Canadian and U.K. current account: (i) the response of the current account to a country-specific transitory shock is too large, and (ii) the fluctuations in the current account are dominated by country-specific transitory shocks that explain almost none of the fluctuations in net output growth.

Published In:

Journal of International Money and Finance (0261-5606)
September 2008. Vol. 27, Iss. 5, pp. 757-79.