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Mariana Colacelli, Deepali Gautam, and Cyril Rebillard
The composition of Japan’s current account balance has changed over time, with an increasing income balance primarily reflecting a growing net foreign asset position and higher corporate saving. A comparison of Japan’s income balance with peer countries highlights: (i) relatively high yields on FDI assets, and (ii) very low FDI liabilities in Japan. Panel estimation is used to derive separate exchange rate elasticities for income credit and debit, with novel accounting that disentangles the mechanical from the economic response to exchange rate fluctuations. Despite the changing composition of Japan’s current account balance, its response to exchange rate movements still operates mostly through the traditional trade channel, with a small but reinforcing contribution from the income balance.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The External Sector Report presents a methodologically consistent assessment of the exchange rates, current accounts, reserves, capital flows, and external balance sheets of the world’s largest economies. The 2018 edition includes an analytical assessment of how trade costs and related policy barriers drive excess global imbalances.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper reports the results of some preliminary research into the repercussions, for income distribution, of stabilization programs associated with the use of IMF resources in the upper credit tranches. In the first section, it explores the relationship between the balance of payments and the distribution of income from a theoretical perspective. The general concern is whether adjustment influences the distribution of income in some systematic manner; the concern is to delineate the conditions under which a decline in the real wage is necessary for adjustment actually to take place. Using neoclassical analysis, one finds that the ratio of the nominal wage to the price of exports must decline, but whether this involves a fall in the overall real wage depends on many variables, including the relative proportions of traded and nontraded goods in the consumer's market basket. Second, it presents a qualitative analysis of the distributional effects of the measures that tend to be included in these programs, viz., ceilings on net credit expansion, currency depreciation, and the relaxation and simplification of exchange restrictions and controls.