OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Current Account Benchmarks for Turkey

Turkey’s current account deficit widened to almost 10% of GDP in 2011 and has been narrowing only gradually since. An important question is to what extent Turkey’s current account deficit is excessive. To explore this issue, one needs to establish benchmarks. In this paper current account benchmarks are derived using the external sustainability as well as the macroeconomic balance approach. However, the standard macroeconomic balance approach ignores the uncertainty inherent in the model selection process given the relatively large number of possible determinants of current account balances. This paper therefore extends the macroeconomic balance approach to account for model uncertainty by using Bayesian Model Averaging techniques. Results from both approaches suggest that current account benchmarks for the current account deficit lie in the range of 3% to 5½ per cent of GDP, which is broadly in line with previous estimates but substantially below recent current account deficit levels. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of Turkey (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/turkey).


Keywords: external sustainability, Turkey, Bayesian model averaging, current account, current account benchmarks, model uncertainty
JEL: F41: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance / Open Economy Macroeconomics; C11: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General / Bayesian Analysis: General; F32: International Economics / International Finance / Current Account Adjustment; Short-Term Capital Movements
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