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Option Pricing Approach to International Reserves


  • Jaewoo Lee


This paper brings forward the insurance aspect of holding reserves by using the conceptual equivalence between insurance and financial options, and explores when reserves are likely to become the primary means of precautionary arrangement, in particular in emerging markets. The sharp rise in the amount of reserves held by many emerging markets since the mid-1990s can be traced to the rise in the "globalization hazard" that confronts emerging markets. A modest probability of globalization hazard (sudden stop) can induce emerging markets to self-insure fully by hoarding international reserves, rather than relying on nonreserve alternatives of taking precautions. Copyright © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaewoo Lee, 2009. "Option Pricing Approach to International Reserves," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 844-860, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:17:y:2009:i:4:p:844-860

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua Aizenman & Nancy Marion, 2004. "International Reserve Holdings with Sovereign Risk and Costly Tax Collection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 569-591, July.
    2. Clark, Peter B, 1970. "Optimum International Reserves and the Speed of Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 356-376, March-Apr.
    3. Merton, Robert C, 1998. "Applications of Option-Pricing Theory: Twenty-Five Years Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 323-349, June.
    4. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2008. "Financial versus Monetary Mercantilism: Long-run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 593-611, May.
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2007. "International Reserves: Precautionary Versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 191-214, April.
    6. Ben-Bassat, Avraham & Gottlieb, Daniel, 1992. "Optimal international reserves and sovereign risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3-4), pages 345-362, November.
    7. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-514, June.
    8. Jaewoo Lee, 2004. "Insurance Value of International Reserves; An Option Pricing Approach," IMF Working Papers 04/175, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    10. Pablo García & Claudio Soto, 2006. "Large Hoardings of International Reserves: Are They Worth It?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Ricardo Caballero & César Calderón & Luis Felipe Céspedes & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Sc (ed.), External Vulnerability and Preventive Policies, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 6, pages 171-206 Central Bank of Chile.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Jaewoo Lee, 2013. "Accounting for Global Dispersion of Current Accounts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 477-496, July.

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