I discuss the need for trade models to incorporate endogenous trade imbalances both to more adequately capture the reality of a global economy with large imbalances and pressures from the financial crisis for countries to reduce imbalances. Conventional general equilibrium trade models implicitly incorporate monetary neutrality and either have zero trade balance as a property of equilibrium, or have a fixed and exogenous trade imbalance. Models which are discussed here have a variety of forms. In one, central banks fix exchange rates and operate a non accommodative monetary policy and accumulate reserves. Changes in both trade and monetary policies change reserve accumulative and with the external sector imbalances. This is a reflection of China's current policy regime. In another intertemporal preferences allow for simultaneous inter commodity and intertemporal trade across countries, and with changed intertemporal trade changed external sector imbalances within the period. These formulations are each applied to potential tax initiatives to aid in rebalancing.
endogenous trade model general equilibrium external sector imbalances