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International reserves management and capital mobility in a volatile world: Policy considerations and a case study of Korea

  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Lee, Yeonho
  • Rhee, Youngseop

This paper characterizes the precautionary demand for international reserves driven by the attempt to reduce the incidence of costly output decline induced by sudden reversal of short-term capital flows. It validates the main predictions of the precautionary approach by investigating changes in the patterns of international reserves in Korea in the aftermath of the 1997-8 crisis. This crisis provides an interesting case study, especially because of the rapid rise in Korea's financial integration in the aftermath of the East-Asian crisis, where foreigners' shareholding has increased to 40% of total Korean market capitalization. We show that the crisis led to structural change in the hoarding of international reserves, and that the Korean monetary authority gives much greater attention to a broader notion of 'hot money,' inclusive of short-term debt and foreigners' shareholding.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-15

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:21:y:2007:i:1:p:1-15
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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  1. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  3. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2000. "Contagion, Globalization, and the Volatility of Capital Flows," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 15-41 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1980. "LDC participation in international financial markets : Debt and reserves," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 3-21, February.
  8. Eric Zivot & Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 944, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Hutchison, Michael M & Noy, Ilan, 2005. "How Bad Are Twins? Output Costs of Currency and Banking Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 725-52, August.
  10. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1999. "Lending Booms, Reserves, and the Sustainability of Short-Term Debt: Inferences from the Pricing of Syndicated Bank Loans," NBER Working Papers 7113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  12. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P., 2003. "International Reserve Holdings with Sovereign Risk and Costly Tax Collection," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9s7978n1, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  13. 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.
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