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International Reserves Management and the Current Account

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  • Joshua Aizenman

Abstract

The paper assesses the costs and benefits of active international reserve management (IRM), shedding light on the question of how intense should IRM be for an emerging market. In principle, an active IRM strategy could lower real exchange rate volatility induced by terms of trade shocks; provide self insurance against sudden stops; reduce the speed of adjustment of the current account; and even allow for higher growth if it fosters exports (“mercantilist” motive). The message of the report is mixed – management of reserves is not a panacea. The mercantilist case for hoarding international reserves, as an ingredient of an export led growth strategy, is dubious. Done properly, IRM augments macro economic management in turbulent times, mitigating the impact of external adverse shocks and allowing for a smoother current account adjustment. These benefits are especially important for commodity exporting countries, and countries with limited financial development.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 449.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:449

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Cited by:
  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael & Noy, Ilan, 2011. "Inflation Targeting and Real Exchange Rates in Emerging Markets," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 712-724, May.

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