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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, July.
  • 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. Ricardo J. Caballero G. & Stavros Panageas, 2005. "Contingent Reserves Management: an Applied Framework," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 8(2), pages 45-56, August.
    2. Anusha Chari & Wenjie Chen & Kathryn M.E. Dominguez, 2009. "Foreign Ownership and Firm Performance: Emerging-Market Acquisitions in the United States," Working Papers 590, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    3. Alfaro, Laura & Kanczuk, Fabio, 2009. "Optimal reserve management and sovereign debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 23-36, February.
    4. Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2007. "Precautionary demand for foreign assets in sudden stop economies: an assessment of the new mercantilism," International Finance Discussion Papers 911, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2002. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," NBER Working Papers 8963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Yin-Wong Cheung & Hiro Ito, 2009. "A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis of International Reserves," CESifo Working Paper Series 2654, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Martin, Philippe & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "Globalization and Emerging Markets: With or Without Crash?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, . "Is Sterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention Effective After All? An Event Study Approach," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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