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The Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves

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  • Barry J. Eichengreen
  • Donald J. Mathieson

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of the currency composition of international reserves. Our single most important finding is the striking stability over time of the relationship between the demand for reserves denominated in different currencies and its principal determinants: trade flows, financial flows and currency pegs. This result contrasts sharply with recent predictions of sharp shifts in the currency composition of central banks’ holdings of foreign exchange. The message would seem to be that in this, as in other respects, the international monetary system is in a mode of gradual, continuous evolution, not of rapid, discontinuous change.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 00/131.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:00/131

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Postal: International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA
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Related research

Keywords: Foreign exchange reserves; foreign exchange; currency composition; central banks; exchange reserves; exchange rate; central bank; currency pegs; reserve currencies; exchange rates; reserve management; reserve currency; debt service; short-term debt; exchange rate regime; foreign exchange market; reserve holdings; current account; debt service payments; exchange rate fluctuations; foreign debt; reserve portfolios; debt crisis; capital account liberalization; short term debt; reserve bank; foreign exchange holdings; exchange rate arrangement; debt relief; external debt service; reserve managers; reserve asset; bilateral exchange rate; exchange rate adjustments; exchange rate movements; exchange rate changes; exchange rate regimes; dollar exchange rate; overvalued exchange rate; external debt; flexible exchange rates; current account surpluses; external liabilities; long-term debt; external payments;

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