DP5644 | The External Wealth of Nations Mark II: Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970-2004

Publication Date

19/04/2006

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Abstract

We construct estimates of external assets and liabilities for over 140 countries over the period 1970-2004. We describe our estimation methods and present some key features of the data, both at the country and at the global level. We focus in particular on trends in net and gross external positions, as well as on the composition of international portfolios, distinguishing between foreign direct investment, portfolio equity investment, foreign exchange reserves, and external debt. We also document the existence of a 'world net foreign asset discrepancy' (the stock counterpart to the world current account discrepancy) and identify the asset categories that account for this discrepancy.