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Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves

Author

Listed:
  • Maurice Obstfeld
  • Jay C. Shambaugh
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

The rapid growth of international reserves, a development concentrated in the emerging markets, remains a puzzle. In this paper, we suggest that a model based on financial stability and financial openness goes far toward explaining reserve holdings in the modern era of globalized capital markets. The size of domestic financial liabilities that could potentially be converted into foreign currency (M2), financial openness, the ability to access foreign currency through debt markets, and exchange rate policy are all significant predictors of reserve stocks. Our empirical financial-stability model seems to outperform both traditional models and recent explanations based on external short-term debt. (JEL E23, E43, E44, F31, F32, F34)

Suggested Citation

  • Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 57-94, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:57-94
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.2.57
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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