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The Shifting Composition of External Liabilities André Faria, Philip R. Lane, Paolo Mauro & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti


What determines the composition of external liabilities, both across countries and over time? More specifically, which countries account for the massive increase in equity-like liabilities (foreign direct investment and portfolio equity), especially since the mid-1990s? The empirical analysis draws on the newly-released “External Wealth of Nations Mark II” dataset. In the cross-section, we find that larger, more open economies with a better institutional quality score have a greater equity share in external liabilities, which is also positively related to natural resource production. Along the time-series dimension, we find that the shift towards equity financing is stronger among those countries that have undertaken a greater degree of domestic financial reform.

JEL-Classification: F21, F34, F36

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).