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A surprisingly large number of countries have been able to finance a significant fraction of domestic investment using foreign finance for extended periods. While many of these episodes are in low-income countries where official finance is more important than private finance, this paper also identifies a number of episodes where a substantial fraction of domestic investment was financed via private capital inflows. That said, foreign savings are not a good substitute for domestic savings, since more often than not episodes of large and persistent current account deficits do not end happily. Rather, they end abruptly with compression of the current account, real exchange rate depreciation, and a sharp slowdown in investment. Summing over the deficit episode and its aftermath, growth is slower than when countries rely on domestic savings. The paper concludes that financing growth and investment out of foreign savings, while not impossible, is risky.
The 2017 Macroreport considers recent developments in the global economy and how they may affect Latin America and the Caribbean. It reviews how countries are adapting to external conditions and how those policies may be improved. This year, the report focuses particularly on deeper and smarter regional integration as an attractive route to boost productivity and growth. (View publication)
This paper explains in detail the external sustainability assessment approach given by the stock-flow relationship between the net external positions, non-income current account plus net capital transfers, and real exchange rate. This approach consists of determining the non-income current account over GDP that would stabilize a benchmark net foreign asset (NFA) position over the medium term, ... (View publication)
This manual explains in detail the external sustainability assessment approach following Castillo (2016), given by the stock-flow relationship among net external positions, non-income current account, 1 and real exchange rate. This approach consists of determining the non-income current account over GDP that would stabilize a benchmark net foreign asset (NFA) position over the mediumterm, and ... (View publication)
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