Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why some imbalances are more important than others?

I am linking to Scott Sumner again. He has a post that identifies the current account imbalances between countries. And he is right, in terms of imbalances, nordic countries have highest per capita surplus than others. However, surplus of some countries hurts us more than others. 

As I mention in my book, the net impact of surplus or deficit depends on the skill profile of the nation as a whole. If the skill profile of two nation matches then the current account surpluses have detrimental impact on the one with deficits. The problem with large nations is that even if the profile of nation as whole is not alike the amount of overlap is significant.

It is because of this mismatch that US is losing jobs. Further, US has not invested in the "next big thing" whatever that is, to create alternative employment for those who lose jobs.