NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Historical Perspective on Global Imbalances

Michael D. Bordo

NBER Working Paper No. 11383
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy, Monetary Economics

This paper takes an historical perspectives approach to the current episode of global imbalances. I consider four historical episodes which may give some indications as to whether the adjustment to U.S. current account deficit will lead to a 'benign' or 'gloomy' outlook. The episodes are: the transfer of capital in the earlier era of globalization the late nineteenth century; the interwar gold exchange standard; Bretton Woods; and the 1977-79 dollar crisis. I conclude that adjustment in earlier era of globalization has more resonance for the current imbalance than the other scenarios.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11383

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