A1 Journal article (refereed)
Cross-country variation in patience, persistent current account imbalances and the external wealth of nations (2022)

Nieminen, M. (2022). Cross-country variation in patience, persistent current account imbalances and the external wealth of nations. Journal of International Money and Finance, 121, Article 102517. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jimonfin.2021.102517

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsNieminen, Mika

Journal or seriesJournal of International Money and Finance



Publication year2022


Article number102517

PublisherElsevier BV

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78703


This paper is the first to utilize large-scale international surveys on economic preferences to examine the long-run relationships between patience, current accounts and external wealth. We find robust empirical evidence that countries with more patient individuals tend to run persistent current account surpluses, which in turn result in the accumulation of foreign assets. This theoretically plausible but empirically unexplored relationship holds true for euro area current account imbalances, global current account imbalances and net foreign asset positions worldwide. While the existing current account literature concentrates on proximate macroeconomic determinants, this paper’s extension of inferences from deep determinants (i.e., time preferences) to the distribution of external wealth of nations (i.e., net foreign asset positions) makes a unique contribution to the literature. Our finding showing that deep heterogeneities contribute to external imbalances suggests that the pattern of current account imbalances as well as the distribution of external wealth of nations might be very persistent.

Keywordsbehavioural economicstraits of characterpersonal financenational economywealthinternational comparison

Free keywordsexternal wealth; current account; external imbalances; patience; economic preferences

Fields of science:

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 19:46