The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper uses cross-section and panel data to examine the determinants of the current account. The empirics find a significant impact of the stage of development and demographic factors in the cross section. Estimating partial-adjustment and error-correction models using panel data, the paper finds a short- and long-run impact of fiscal policy on the current account in the time series. The real exchange rate, the business cycle and the terms of trade are also shown to have short-run effects on the current account, while the stage of development and demographics have longer-run effects.