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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
Policymakers often face difficult tradeoffs in pursuing domestic and external stabilization objectives. The paper reflects staff’s work to advance the understanding of the policy options and tradeoffs available to policymakers in a systematic and analytical way. The paper recognizes that the optimal path of the IPF tools depends on structural characteristics and fiscal policies. The operational implications of IPF findings require careful consideration. Developing safeguards to minimize the risk of inappropriate use of IPF policies will be essential. Staff remains guided by the Fund’s Institutional View (IV) on the Liberalization and Management of Capital Flows.
Mr. Robin Koepke and Simon Paetzold
This paper provides an analytical overview of the most widely used capital flow datasets. The paper is written as a guide for academics who embark on empirical research projects and for policymakers who need timely information on capital flow developments to inform their decisions. We address common misconceptions about capital flow data and discuss differences between high-frequency proxies for portfolio flows. In a nowcasting “horse race” we show that high-frequency proxies have significant predictive content for portfolio flows from the balance of payments (BoP). We also construct a new dataset for academic use, consisting of monthly portfolio flows broadly consistent with BoP data.
Mr. Sakai Ando and Mengxue Wang
This paper studies whether FDI firms employ more workers than domestic firms for each dollar of assets. Using the Orbis database and its ownership structure information, we show that, in most economies, domestic firms tend to employ more workers per asset than FDI firms. The result remains robust across individual industries in the case study of the United Kingdom. The analysis of the switchers (ownership changes from domestic to foreign or vice versa) suggests that ownership changes do not have an immediate impact on the employment per asset. This result suggests that different patterns of employment per asset seem to come from technological differences rather than from different ownership structures.
Katharina Bergant, Michael Fidora, and Martin Schmitz
We analyse euro area investors' portfolio rebalancing during the ECB's Asset Purchase Programme at the security level. Our empirical analysis shows that euro area investors (in particular investment funds and households) actively rebalanced away from securities targeted under the Public Sector Purchase Programme and other euro-denominated debt securities, towards foreign debt instruments, including `closest substitutes', i.e. certain sovereign debt securities issued by non-euro area advanced countries. This rebalancing was particularly strong during the first six quarters of the programme. Our analysis also reveals marked differences across sectors as well as country groups within the euro area, suggesting that quantitative easing has induced heterogeneous portfolio shifts.
Mr. Carlos Sanchez-Munoz, Mr. Paul A Austin, Alicia Hierro, and Ms. Tamara Razin


The 2019 Annual Report of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics (the Committee) provides an overview of recent trends in global balance of payments and international investment position statistics, summarizes the Committee’s work during 2019, and presents the work program of the Committee in the coming year.