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Are Developing Asia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Excessive? An Empirical Examination

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  • Park, Donghyun

    (Asian Development Bank)

  • Estrada, Gemma

    (Asian Development Bank)

Abstract

Developing Asian countries have accumulated foreign exchange reserves on an unprecedented scale in recent years. There is a growing consensus that Asia’s reserves now substantially exceed the levels required for precautionary purposes or for self-protection against currency crisis. The central objective of our paper is to informally and formally test whether reserves in developing Asia have in fact reached excessive levels. Informal tests of reserve adequacy based on widely used rules of thumb such as the Greenspan-Guidotti rule unambiguously indicate the presence of sizable excess reserves. To test for excess reserves more formally, we use panel-data econometric analysis based on Edison (2003). Our estimation results indicate the presence of large and growing excess reserves since 2002. The results of both informal and formal tests thus confirm the popular belief that developing Asia now has excessive foreign exchange reserves. Therefore, the short-run policy challenge for Asian governments is to manage the region’s burgeoning excess reserves more actively and use them more productively. One promising area of future research, brought to the fore by the global financial crisis, is to develop more nuanced measures of reserve adequacy that take into account the possibility of severe negative shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Asian Development Bank in its series ADB Economics Working Paper Series with number 170.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0170

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Keywords: Foreign exchange reserve; Asia;

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Cited by:
  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Park, Donghyun, 2011. "Evaluating Asian Swap Arrangements," ADBI Working Papers 297, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  2. Shafaeddin, Mehdi, 2009. "The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Industrialization of Least Developed Countries," MPRA Paper 18788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Daniela Gabor, 2011. "Paradigm shift? A critique of the IMF’s new approach to capital controls," Working Papers 1109, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  4. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Park, Donghyun, 2010. "International reserves and swap lines: substitutes or complements?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt04v2q5s7, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. Daniela Gabor, 2012. "Managing Capital Accounts in Emerging Markets: Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 714-731, June.
  6. Zhichao Zhang & Frankie Chau & Li Xie, 2013. "Accumulation of large foreign reserves in China: a behavioural perspective," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 85-108, March.

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