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 analyzes, in a general equilibrium framework, how fiscal policy transmits its effects to the current account of the balance of payments. In discussing the role of fiscal policies in the Fund’s stabilization programs, the paper compares different approaches to explain the determination of the external balance. The model presented here is based on intertemporal optimization and focuses on the behavior of private and public agents. Some empirical evidence is also presented, based on data from ten Latin American countries. Finally, an appendix presents an integrated system of financial, external, and government accounts.