International Reserves-Too Much of a Zipf's Thing
AbstractConcentrated distribution of international reserves is puzzling. I show that the growth rates of international reserves bear only a very weak relationship to their initial stocks (scaled by GDP or in absolute terms), and that, by implication, the cross-sectional distribution of reserves conforms to Zipf's law. The law states that the size of reserves is inversely related to their ranking. Evidence in favor of the law is strong and time robust. I compare the crosssection distribution of international reserves embedded in the WEO projections to that implied by Zipf's law and find that international reserves are much less concentrated in the WEO projections than implied by Zipf's law.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/11.
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA
Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page: http://www.imf.org/external/pubind.htm
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-03-01 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Graham Bird & Ramkishen Rajan, 2002.
"Too Much of a Good Thing?: The Adequacy of International Reserves in the Aftermath of Crises,"
Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers
2002-10, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
- Graham Bird & Ramkishen Rajan, 2003. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Adequacy of International Reserves in the Aftermath of Crises," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(6), pages 873-891, 06.
- Krugman, Paul, 1996. "Confronting the Mystery of Urban Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-418, December.
- Ben-Bassat, Avraham & Gottlieb, Daniel, 1992. "On the Effect of Opportunity Cost on International Reserve Holdings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 329-32, May.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2005.
"Cities and Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
11762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
- Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "International Reserves in Emerging Market Countries: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 1-80.
- Cerezo Aguirre, Sergio Cerezo Aguirre, 2010. "Consideraciones sobre el nivel óptimo de reservas internacionales para Bolivia: 2003-2009," Revista Latinoamericana de Desarrollo Economico, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana, issue 14, pages 41-70.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow) or (Hassan Zaidi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.