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Optimal Foreign Reserves: The Case of Croatia

Author

Listed:
  • Ana Maria Ceh

    (Croatian National Bank, Zagreb, Croatia)

  • Ivo Krznar

    (Croatian National Bank, Zagreb, Croatia)

Abstract

This paper develops a simple model of precautionary foreign reserves in a dollarized economy subject to a sudden stop shock that occurs concurrently with a bank run. By including specific features of the Croatian economy in our model we extend the framework of Goncalves (2007). An analytical expression of optimal reserves is derived and calibrated for Croatia in order to evaluate the adequacy of the Croatian National Bank foreign reserves. We show that the precautionary demand for reserves is consistent with the trend of the strong accumulation of foreign reserves over the last ten years. Whether this trend has been too strong or whether the actual reserves are lower than the optimal reserves depends on the possible reaction of the parent banks during a crisis. We show that for plausible values of parameters, the Croatian National Bank has enough reserves to fight a possible crisis of the magnitude of the 1998/1999 sudden stop with a banking crisis episode. This result holds regardless of the parent banks’ reaction. We also show how use of the two standard indicators of “optimal” reserves, the Greenspan-Guidotti and the 3-months-of-imports rules, might lead to an unrealistic assessment of foreign reserves optimality in the case of Croatia.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Maria Ceh & Ivo Krznar, 2008. "Optimal Foreign Reserves: The Case of Croatia," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 32(4), pages 421-460.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipf:finteo:v:32:y:2008:i:4:p:421-460
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    File URL: http://www.ijf.hr/eng/FTP/2008/4/ceh-krznar.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ricardo Caballero & Stavros Panageas, 2006. "Contingent Reserves Management: An Applied Framework," 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 12, pages 399-420 Central Bank of Chile.
    2. de Haas, Ralph & van Lelyveld, Iman, 2010. "Internal capital markets and lending by multinational bank subsidiaries," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-25, January.
    3. Durdu, Ceyhun Bora & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Terrones, Marco E., 2009. "Precautionary demand for foreign assets in Sudden Stop economies: An assessment of the New Mercantilism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 194-209.
    4. Fernando M. Gonçalves, 2007. "The Optimal Level of Foreign Reserves in Financially Dollarized Economies; The Case of Uruguay," IMF Working Papers 07/265, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2007. "International Reserves: Precautionary Versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Open Economies Review, Springer, pages 191-214.
    6. 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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    8. Sándor Gardó & Antje Hildebrandt & Zoltan Walko, 2008. "Walking the Tightrope: A First Glance on the Impact of the Recent Global Financial Market Turbulence on Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe," Financial Stability Report, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 15, pages 119-140.
    9. 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.
    10. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-514, June.
    11. Romain Ranciere & Olivier D Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries; Formulas and Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Maria Čeh & Ivo Krznar, 2009. "Optimal International Reserves of the CNB with Endogenous Probability of Crisis," Working Papers 21, The Croatian National Bank, Croatia.

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