Quantitative Evaluation of Consumption Imbalances in Advanced and Developing Countries

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-10-84-92
Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation

Abstract. Over the past two decades global imbalances have been a central topic of debate at the level of international organizations and in academic discourse, due to a significant and persistent current account deficit in the United States and several European countries and a surplus in China and other developing countries of Asia, as well as a group of oil-exporting countries. The global financial crisis resulted in lowering consumption in the group of developed countries, and higher consumption growth in developing countries, due to a relatively more favorable demographic structure of the population, and gradually narrowing gap in household spending. Based on a regression analysis, this article aims to quantify the global consumption imbalances between developed and developing countries, to identify key determinants of consumer demand, and provide a quantitative forecast of household final consumption expenditures growth in the medium term (up to 2025). The econometric analysis proved that the trends of the last two decades, and especially the post-crisis years, laid the foundation for the gradual reduction of global consumption imbalances. The expected growth rates of household final consumption expenditures in developing countries will be about 6 times higher in the coming years than for the developed world. This can be explained by relatively higher growth of household incomes (including due to rapidly developing urbanization), and higher elasticity of private consumption by income, as well as relatively more favorable demographic trends. The African region will act as the main driver of private consumer spending, mainly due to the outstripping growth rate of incomes and the “low base” effect. The group of developing countries of South and East Asia will take the second position in terms of growth in household consumption expenditures.

Keywords: global imbalances, household final consumption expenditures, developed countries, developing countries, domestic demand, regression, determinants of consumer demand


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For citation:
Arapova E. Quantitative Evaluation of Consumption Imbalances in Advanced and Developing Countries. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 10, pp. 84-92. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-10-84-92

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