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Huub Meijers

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Huub Meijers, Joan Muysken and Olaf Sleijpen

Retained profits of firms exceed investment in the Netherlands. The resulting net savings are mainly invested in foreign assets, which is consistent with the surplus on the current account of the balance of payments. Both have increased to almost 10 per cent of GDP in recent years. We present a stock-flow consistent model to explain firms’ excess savings, inspired by Hein (2012), in an open economy context. This enables us to model the preference of firms to invest in financial assets abroad and to analyse the observed close link between firms’ excess savings and the current-account surplus. As a consequence, we also explain the close relationship between net household savings and government budget deficit. We present simulation results to illustrate the workings of our model.

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Huub Meijers, Joan Muysken and Olaf Sleijpen

In the last 2 decades, the Netherlands has experienced an increase in real-estate prices, accompanied by an increase in mortgages and a marked decline in household savings. As a consequence, banks are faced with a large retail funding gap: outstanding mortgage debt is insufficiently matched by retail deposits, whereas other funding possibilities of banks have increasingly been constrained – also due to their large foreign exposures.

Traditional macroeconomic models cannot analyse this phenomenon appropriately as they lack a proper model of the financial sector and underestimate the potential for interactions between the monetary and the real sphere. We present a stock-flow consistent approach developed by Godley and Lavoie as a valuable alternative to traditional and New Keynesian macroeconomic models, enabling us to analyse the deposit financing gap for the Netherlands.

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Adriaan van Zon, Huub Meijers and Joan Muysken