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Undervaluation through foreign reserve accumulation : static losses, dynamic gains

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  • Korinek, Anton
  • Serven, Luis

Abstract

This paper shows that real exchange rate undervaluation through the accumulation of foreign reserves may improve welfare in economies with learning-by-investing externalities that arise disproportionately from the tradable sector. In the presence of targeting problems or when policy choices are restricted by multilateral agreements, first-best policies such as subsidies to capital accumulation, or subsidies to tradable production are not feasible. A neo-mercantilist policy of foreign reserve accumulation"outsources"the targeting problem or overcomes the multilateral restrictions by providing loans to foreigners that can only be used to buy up domestic tradable goods. This raises the relative price of tradable versus non-tradable goods (i.e. undervalues the real exchange rate) at the static cost of temporarily reducing tradable absorption in the domestic economy. However, since the tradable sector generates greater learning-by-investing externalities, it leads to dynamic gains in the form of higher growth. The net welfare effects of reserve accumulation depend on the balance between the static losses from lower tradable absorption versus the dynamic gains from higher growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5250.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5250

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Debt Markets; Currencies and Exchange Rates; Access to Finance; Emerging Markets;

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Cited by:
  1. Haddad, Mona & Pancaro, Cosimo, 2010. "Can Real Exchange Rate Undervaluation Boost Exports and Growth in Developing Countries? Yes, But Not for Long," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 20, pages 1-5, June.
  2. Daniel Brou & Michele Ruta, 2012. "A Commitment Theory of Subsidy Agreements," CESifo Working Paper Series 3945, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Marcus Kappler & Helmut Reisen & Moritz Schularick & Edouard Turkisch, 2011. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Large Exchange Rate Appreciations," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 296, OECD Publishing.
  4. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2011. "Sovereigns, Upstream Capital Flows and Global Imbalances," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-126/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Auboin, Marc & Ruta, Michele, 2013. "The relationship between exchange rates and international trade: a literature review," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(03), pages 577-605, July.
  6. Mayer, Jörg, 2012. "Global rebalancing: Effects on trade and employment," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 627-642.
  7. Andreas Steiner, 2010. "The Accumulation of Foreign Exchange by Central Banks: Fear of Capital Mobility?," Working Papers 85, Institute of Empirical Economic Research.
  8. Diallo, Ibrahima Amadou, 2011. "The effects of real exchange rate misalignment and real exchange volatility on exports," MPRA Paper 32387, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Anton Korinek, 2011. "The New Economics of Capital Controls Imposed for Prudential Reasons+L4888," IMF Working Papers 11/298, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2013. "Regime switches in the Sino-American co-dependency: Growth and structural change in China," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-32.
  11. Philip R. Lane, 2011. "External Imbalances and Macroeconomic Policy in New Zealand," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp376, IIIS.
  12. Ho-don Yan & Cheng-lang Yang, 2012. "Does an Undervalued Currency Merit Economic Growth? – Evidence from Taiwan," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 59(1), pages 37-57, March.
  13. Eden, Maya & Nguyen, Ha, 2012. "Correcting real exchange rate misalignment : conceptual and practical issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6045, The World Bank.
  14. Javier Bianchi, 2012. "Comment on "Capital Account Policies and the Real Exchange Rate"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2012, pages 43-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Steiner, Andreas, 2013. "How central banks prepare for financial crises – An empirical analysis of the effects of crises and globalisation on international reserves," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 208-234.

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