The Balance of Payments

  • Giancarlo Gandolfo


Before coming to grips with the theories of commercial and financial flows, we must have a clear idea of what a balance of payments is and be able to understand the content of the statistical data presented therein. Although the various national presentations look different, all obey a common set of accounting rules and definitions, which can be given a general treatment. Furthermore, where possible, the IMF International Monetary Fund) publishes the balances of payments of all member countries in a standardized presentation (see the IMF’s publications Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook and International Financial Statistics) in accordance with the classification scheme of the Fund’s Balance of Payments Manual. This contains the recommended concepts, rules, definitions, etc., to guide member countries in making their regular reports on the balance of payments, as stipulated in the Fund’s Articles of Agreement; at the time of writing the latest edition is the fifth (henceforth referred to as the Manual).


Central Bank Current Account Excess Demand Foreign Asset Capital Account 
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Suggested Further Reading

  1. Gandolfo, G., 2002, International Finance and Open-Economy Macroeconomics, Berlin Heidelberg New York: Springer-Verlag, Chap. 6.Google Scholar
  2. IMF (International Monetary Fund), 1948, Balance of Payments Manual,1st edition; 2nd edn. 1950; 3rd edn. 1961; 4th edn. 1977; 5th edn. 1993.Google Scholar
  3. IMF, Balance of Payments Yearbook (yearly); International Financial Statistics (monthly).Google Scholar
  4. Mundell, R.A., 1968, International Economics, New York: Macmillan, Chap. 10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giancarlo Gandolfo
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of Rome La SapienzaRomaItaly

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