Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Mirror Image of the Eurozone Balance of Payments Problem: Using Theories of Institutionalism to Explore the International Monetary Fund’s Policy Paradigm Shift Due to Germany’s Current Account Surplus

This paper serves as an exploratory look into how Germany's current account surplus triggered a policy paradigm shift in institutional response to the persistent imbalance of payments problem during the eurozone crisis. It creates a narrative of how Germany's current account balance came into political focus and why international institutions, in particular the International Monetary Fund, shifted policies away from placing the burden of financial rebalancing on debtor countries toward a more equal policy of assigning some blame to creditor countries. The paper makes use of the concept of policy paradigm shifts and how these changes can occur within international institutions. It also discusses the measure of the current account and later argues that the burden of financial rebalancing is unfairly applied to only Germany, rather that the blame and burden is better assigned more widely to the North of Europe which also has high current account surpluses.