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International reserves and swap lines: Substitutes or complements?

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Park, Donghyun, 2011. "International reserves and swap lines: Substitutes or complements?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 5-18, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:5-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2010. "Selective swap arrangements and the global financial crisis: Analysis and interpretation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 353-365, June.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
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    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. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2009. "Bretton Woods Ii Still Defines The International Monetary System," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 297-311, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Joshua Aizenman, 2010. "Hoarding international reserves versus a Pigovian tax-cum-subsidy scheme: Reflections on the deleveraging crisis of 2008-9, and a cost benefit analysis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
    9. 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.
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    11. 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 480-486, May.
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    Keywords

    Reserves Swaps Dollar standard Asia Trade and financial linkages;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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