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National Saving–Investment Dynamics and International Capital Mobility

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The authors analyze the dynamics of national saving–investment relationships to determine the degree of international capital mobility. Following Coakley and Kulasi (1997), the authors interpret the close relationship between national saving and investment in the long run as reflecting a solvency constraint, rather than as evidence of limited capital mobility (Feldstein and Horioka 1980). As in Jansen (1996, 1998), the authors also examine the short-term saving–investment relationship, especially the speed at which the variables return to the long-run equilibrium relationship once they have deviated from it. The ease with which a country can borrow or lend and run current account imbalances in the short run, before it has to ultimately reverse the transaction at some future date to satisfy the solvency constraint, is interpreted as being positively related to the degree of international capital mobility. Extending the approach by Jansen, the authors apply panel error-correction techniques to data for 20 OECD countries from 1960 to 1999, and find that saving and investment display a long-run relationship that is consistent with the interpretation that a long-run solvency constraint is binding for each country. Furthermore, capital mobility has increased over time.

Also published as:

International capital mobility: What do national saving–investment dynamics tell us?
Journal of International Money and Finance (0261-5606)
April 2008. Vol. 27, Iss. 3, pp. 331-44

JEL Code(s): C, C2, C23, F, F3, F31