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International Reserves and Underdeveloped Capital Markets

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009

  • Kathryn M. E. Dominguez

International reserve accumulation by developing countries is just one example of the puzzling behavior of international capital flows. Capital should flow to where its return is highest, which ought to be where capital is scare. Yet recent data suggest the opposite Ð net capital flows from developing countries to industrialized countries. This paper examines the role of financial market development in the accumulation of international reserves. In countries with underdeveloped capital markets the governmentÕs accumulation of reserves may substitute for what would otherwise be private sector capital outflows. Effectively, these governments are acting as financial intermediaries, channeling domestic savings away from local uses and into international capital markets, thereby offsetting the effects of domestic financial constraints that lead to excessive private sector exposure to potential capital shortfalls.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Lucrezia Reichlin & Kenneth D. West, 2010. "NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number reic09-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11915.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11915
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Philippe Martin & Hélène Rey, 2005. "Globalization and Emerging Markets: With or Without Crash?," NBER Working Papers 11550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2008. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," NBER Working Papers 14217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Yin-Wong Cheung & Hiro Ito, 2009. "A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis of International Reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 447-481.
    6. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," NBER Working Papers 11370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Anusha Chari & Wenjie Chen & Kathryn M.E. Dominguez, 2009. "Foreign Ownership and Firm Performance: Emerging-Market Acquisitions in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2009. "Optimal reserve management and sovereign debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 23-36, February.
    9. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, 2003. "Is sterilised foreign exchange intervention effective after all? an event study approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 390-411, 04.
    10. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    11. Ricardo Caballero & Stavros Panageas, 2005. "Contingent Reserves Management: An Applied Framework," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 329, Central Bank of Chile.
    12. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2008. "Capital Inflows and Reserve Accumulation: The Recent Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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