The Impact of Financial (De)Regulation on Current Account Balances
44 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 15, 2014
Global imbalances and financial market (de)regulation both feature prominently among the potential causes of the global financial crisis, but they have been generally discussed separately. In this paper, we take a different angle and investigate the relationship between financial market regulation and current account balances, an area for which there is limited empirical evidence. We use a panel of countries over the period 1980-2010 and employ a novel empirical approach which allows us to simultaneously account for model uncertainty, current account persistence and unobserved heterogeneity. We find robust evidence that financial market regulations affect current account balances and that different aspects of these regulations can have opposing effects on the current account. In particular we find that lowering bank entry barriers is negatively associated with the current account balance. In contrast, bank privatisation and securities market deregulation tend to raise current account balances. Our results also highlight the need to control for persistence and unobserved heterogeneity. Once we control for these factors, we find robust evidence for a wide range of current account theories in contrast to previous studies.
Keywords: current account, financial markets, financial regulation, Bayesian model averaging, model uncertainty
JEL Classification: C11, F32, F41, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation