Mark Aguiar is currently Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester. His research focuses on models of consumption and savings with applications in both open- and closed-economy macroeconomics. Specific interests include life cycle consumption and savings, current account dynamics, sovereign debt, and the interplay of time allocation and consumption. His research on these topics has appeared in top economic journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Professor Aguiar received the 2006 TIAA-CREF Paul Samuelson Award for the best published paper dealing with household financial security for his joint work with Erik Hurst.
Developing economies have heterogeneous experiences with growth and openness. This research starts by documenting a core empirical fact: The countries that grow relatively fast do so while reducing sovereign liabilities and accumulating foreign reserves. Standard economic models state that a capital-poor country can benefit from openness by importing financial capital. However, in practice, countries that accumulate foreign liabilities tend to stagnate, while fast-growing economies provide capital to the rest of the world.