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 examines the extent of international financial integration, and its consequences for the current account. The evidence indicates that financial liberalization in the 1970s and 1980s has resulted in a substantial movement towards closer integration of world capital markets. By reducing constraints on international capital flows, this movement makes the current account more of a residual factor in agents’ decisions.