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International reserves and swap lines: Substitutes or complements?

  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Jinjarak, Yothin
  • Park, Donghyun

Developing Asia experienced a sharp surge in foreign currency reserves prior to the 2008-9 crisis. The global crisis has been associated with an unprecedented rise of swap agreements between central banks of larger economies and their counterparts in smaller economies. We explore whether such swap lines can reduce the need for reserve accumulation. The evidence suggests that there is only a limited scope for swaps to substitute for reserves. The selectivity of the swap lines indicates that only countries with significant trade and financial linkages can expect access to such ad hoc arrangements, on a case by case basis. Moral hazard concerns suggest that the applicability of these arrangements will remain limited. However, deepening swap agreements and regional reserve pooling arrangements may weaken the precautionary motive for reserve accumulation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Economics & Finance.

Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 5-18

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Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:5-18
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  1. Yothin Jinjarak, 2007. "On the Causality between Trade Credits and Imports: Evidence and Possible Implication for Trade Penalties on Debt Defaults," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 317-333.
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  3. 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.
  4. Park, Donghyun & Estrada, Gemma, 2009. "Are Developing Asia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Excessive? An Empirical Examination," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 170, Asian Development Bank.
  5. Joshua Aizenman & Gurnain Kaur Pasricha, 2009. "Selective Swap Arrangements and the Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 14821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  7. Joshua Aizenman, 2009. "Hoarding International Reserves Versus a Pigovian Tax-Cum-Subsidy Scheme: Reflections on the Deleveraging Crisis of 2008-9, and a Cost Benefit Analysis," NBER Working Papers 15484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2009. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup's Wardrobe and the Joneses," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 824-843, 09.
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  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Financial Instability, Reserves, and Central Bank Swap Lines in the Panic of 2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 480-86, May.
  11. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2009. "Bretton Woods II Still Defines the International Monetary System," NBER Working Papers 14731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Love, Inessa & Preve, Lorenzo A. & Sarria-Allende, Virginia, 2007. "Trade credit and bank credit: Evidence from recent financial crises," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 453-469, February.
  13. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2010. "The emerging global financial architecture: Tracing and evaluating new patterns of the trilemma configuration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 615-641, June.
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