Early evidence suggests that COVID-19 caused a sharp decrease in international trade and a widening of current account imbalances. This paper shows that (qualitatively) similar responses have characterized the effects of previous pandemics. Using data from a sample of 170 countries, we find that a pandemic shock is typically followed by a sizable decrease in output and trade volumes, but an uneven current account response: balances improve in developed (or surplus) economies but deteriorate in developing (or deficit) ones. We also explore potential mechanisms for this asymmetry, and our evidence is pointing to national saving and the business cycle phase as the main reasons behind the divergent current account dynamic responses.
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||Open Economies Review|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 27 Sep 2022|
- Current account
- Local projection
- Panel data