Gross capital flows and the balance-of-payments: a balance sheet perspective

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


Gross capital flows have gained increasing attention in empirical research over the last decade. Due to their effects on current accounts and financial stability, gross flows are highly relevant for key issues in macroeconomics, political economy, and public policy. However, the exact relationship between gross flows, net flows and current accounts is often poorly understood. These notes aim to clarify some basic features and implications of gross capital flows. Balance-of-payments and balance-sheet accounting is utilised to illustrate how different kinds of gross flows play out on domestic balance sheets and in the balance-of-payments. Organised around nine propositions, the notes clarify the relationship between gross flows, net flows, and trade flows; explain some interesting properties of pure financial flows; discuss issues related to exchange rates and currency unions; and clarify the nature of sudden stop crises.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Publication series

NamePKES Working Paper
PublisherPost-Keynesian Economics Society


  • Gross capital flows, balance-of-payments, current account, imbalances, trilemma, TARGET2, sudden stop


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