Saving and Investment in a Global Economy

Saving and Investment in a Global Economy
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press | ISBN: 0815710437 | edition 1993 | File type: CHM | 203 pages | 1,2 mb

The emergence of large trade imbalances among the industrial countries during the 1980s - particularly the massive deficit of the United States and the surpluses of Germany and Japan - has led to growing disenchantment with the international economic system. But while many critics point to unfair trade practices as the cause of these imbalances, Barry Bosworth contends that this emphasis is misplaced. Instead, he argues, the trade disparities are not the result of external infractions, but rather a reflection of domestic failures. The United States, for example, with its large government budget deficit and low rate of private saving, must borrow abroad to finance its investment. Similarly, trade surpluses of countries such as Japan are indicative of a surplus of national saving over investment needs, rather than restrictive trade practices. Bosworth explains that the existence of large trade imbalances became possible in the 1980s because of the development of an international capital market that greatly reduced the barriers to borrowing and lending across national borders.

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