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Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup¡¦s Wardrobe and the Joneses

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  • Yin-wong Cheung

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

  • XingWang Qian

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Abstract

Motivated by the observed international reserve hoarding behavior in the post-1997 crisis period, we explore the Mrs Machlup's wardrobe hypothesis and the related keeping up with the Joneses argument. It is conceived that, in addition to psychological reasons, holding a relatively high level of international reserves reduces the vulnerability to speculative attacks and promotes growth. A stylized model is constructed to illustrate this type of hoarding behavior. The relevance of the keeping up with the Joneses effect is examined using a few plausible empirical specifications and data from ten East Asian economies. Panel-based regression results are suggestive of the presence of the Joneses effect; especially in the post-1997 crisis period. Individual economy estimation results, however, show that the Joneses effect varies across economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 132007.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:132007

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Keywords: Demand for International reserves; Excessive International reserve Accumulation; Speculative Attack; Keeping Up with the Joneses;

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References

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  1. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Grubel, Herbert G, 1971. "The Demand for International Reserves: A Critical Review of the Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1148-66, December.
  3. Jacob A. Frenkel & Boyan Jovanovic, 1978. "On Transactions and Precautionary Demand For Money," NBER Working Papers 0288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ben-Bassat, Avraham & Gottlieb, Daniel, 1992. "Optimal international reserves and sovereign risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3-4), pages 345-362, November.
  5. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jaewoo Lee, 2004. "Insurance Value of International Reserves," IMF Working Papers 04/175, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Pablo García & Claudio Soto, 2006. "Large Hoardings of International Reserves: Are They Worth It?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Ricardo Caballero & César Calderón & Luis Felipe Céspedes & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus (ed.), External Vulnerability and Preventive Policies, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 6, pages 171-206 Central Bank of Chile.
  8. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-14, June.
  9. Robert P. Flood & Nancy P. Marion, 2002. "Holding International Reserves in an Era of High Capital Mobility," IMF Working Papers 02/62, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Stanley Fischer, 1999. "On the Need for an International Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
  11. Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
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Cited by:
  1. Bas, Maria & Ledezma, Ivan, 2007. "Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6913, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Wong, Clement Yuk-pang & Cheung, Yin-Wong, 2008. "Are All Measures of International Reserves Created Equal? An Empirical Comparison of International Reserve Ratios," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 2(15), pages 1-61.
  3. Joshua Aizenman, 2008. "Large Hoarding Of International Reserves And The Emerging Global Economic Architecture," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 76(5), pages 487-503, 09.
  4. Yuko Hashimoto, 2008. "Too Much for Self-Insurance? Asian Foreign Reserves," Working Papers 062008, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua, 2010. "Macro prudential supervision in the open economy, and the role of central banks in Emerging Markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt97j5w7qk, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Kubota, Megumi, 2011. "Assessing real exchange rate misalignments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5925, The World Bank.

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