IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Optimal Level of International Reserves For Emerging Market Countries: A New Formula and Some Applications

  • Olivier Jeanne
  • Romain Rancière

We present a model of the optimal level of international reserves for a small open economy seeking insurance against sudden stops in capital flows. We derive a formula for the optimal level of reserves and show that plausible calibrations can explain reserves of the order of magnitude observed in many emerging market countries. The buildup of reserves in emerging market Asia can be explained only if one assumes a large anticipated output cost of sudden stops and a high level of risk aversion.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 121 (2011)
Issue (Month): 555 (09)
Pages: 905-930

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:555:p:905-930
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, Rm E35, The Bute Building, Westburn Lane, St Andrews, KY16 9AR, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Hutchison, Michael M. & Noy, Ilan, 2004. "Sudden Stops and the Mexican Wave: Currency Crises, Capital Flow Reversals and Output Loss in Emerging Markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt38j2b036, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Andrew Berg & Eduardo Borensztein & Catherine Pattillo, 2005. "Assessing Early Warning Systems: How Have They Worked in Practice?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(3), pages 5.
  3. Broner, Fernando A. & Lorenzoni, Guido & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2004. "Why do emerging economies borrow short term?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3389, The World Bank.
  4. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Macroeconomic implications of changes in the term premium," Working Paper Series 2006-46, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-14, June.
  6. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II: Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970-2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 5644, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Beatrice Weder & Christoph Klingen, 2004. "How Private Creditors Fared in Emerging Debt Markets, 1970-2000," IMF Working Papers 04/13, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis-Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the empirics of Sudden Stops: the relevance of balance-sheet effects," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  10. Enrique G. Mendoza & Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Marco Terrones, 2007. "Precautionary Demand for Foreign Assets in Sudden Stop Economies: An Assessment of the New Merchantilism," IMF Working Papers 07/146, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II: Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970–2004," IMF Working Papers 06/69, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy, 2003. "The high demand for international reserves in the Far East: What is going on?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 370-400, September.
  13. Romain Rancière & Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2008. "Systemic Crises and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 359-406, 02.
  14. Paolo Mauro & Törbjörn I. Becker & Jonathan David Ostry & Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "Country Insurance: The Role of Domestic Policies," IMF Occasional Papers 254, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 2006. "Fear and Market Failure: Global Imbalances and 'Self-insurance'," CEPR Discussion Papers 6000, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Rodrik, Dani, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," CEPR Discussion Papers 5483, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2001. "Credit, Prices, and Crashes: Business Cycles with a Sudden Stop," NBER Working Papers 8338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Sebastian Edwards, 1985. "On the Interest Rate Elasticity of the Demand for International Reserves: Some Evidence from Developing Coutries," NBER Working Papers 1532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Frankel, Jeffrey & Cavallo, Eduardo, 2004. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," Working Paper Series rwp04-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  22. Robert P. Flood & Nancy P. Marion, 2002. "Holding International Reserves in an Era of High Capital Mobility," IMF Working Papers 02/62, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Timothy J, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116, January.
  25. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary vs. Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 05/198, International Monetary Fund.
  26. David Hauner, 2005. "A Fiscal Price Tag for International Reserves," IMF Working Papers 05/81, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-fulfilling Currency Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 1687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. 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.
  29. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
  30. Paolo Mauro & Törbjörn I. Becker, 2006. "Output Drops and the Shocks That Matter," IMF Working Papers 06/172, International Monetary Fund.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:555:p:905-930. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.