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Jocelyn Jacob - Latest

  • December 22, 2003

    Current Account Imbalances: Some Key Issues for the Major Industrialized Countries

    The resurgence of sizable current account imbalances in the major economies in recent years, particularly the tripling of the U.S. deficit, has led to renewed academic and public discussions about their sustainability. Jacob's main objective is to show that current account balances are simply the outcome of various relative structural and cyclical forces between trading partners. He reviews the factors behind the changes in the current account positions of the three largest industrial economies (the United States, Japan, and the euro area). Two strong determinants shaping the current account balances are the faster increase in U.S. productivity compared with that of other major economies and, more recently, the loosening in the U.S. fiscal stance. Jacob also reviews a range of outside assessments from such sources as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund, as well as the academic literature, to determine the possible risks to macroeconomic and financial stability.
  • November 14, 1997

    European economic and monetary union: Background and implications

    The European Union, which currently consists of 15 states, occupies an important place among the advanced economies. The final stage of the European economic and monetary union (EMU) is scheduled to begin in January 1999 with the adoption of a common currency called the "euro." A decision on which countries will participate in the euro area in 1999 will be made next spring based in part on the achievement of the economic criteria laid out in the Maastricht Treaty. In this article, the authors, after a brief discussion of the historical background, cast some light on the institutional aspects of the EMU, on the formulation and implementation of economic policy, as well as on the internal and external effects of EMU completion. For Canada, the direct implications of the shift to the euro appear to be relatively modest, at least in the short run.
  • August 10, 1996

    Inflation expectations and Real Return Bonds

    The existence of a market for Real Return Bonds in Canada provides a direct tool with which to measure market expectations of inflation by comparing the yields on these bonds with those on conventional Government of Canada long-term bonds. However, there are other factors besides inflation expectations that may affect the yield differential. After reviewing these factors, the authors note that they can lead to a potentially large bias in the level of inflation expectations. The changes in the differential over time may, nonetheless, be a good indicator of movements in long-run inflation expectations. Based on this measure, expectations of long-run inflation have declined since late 1994.