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Reserve Accumulation, Growth and Financial Crises

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  • Gianluca Benigno
  • Luca Fornaro
  • Michael Wolf

Abstract

We present a model that reproduces two salient facts characterizing the international monetary system: Fast growing emerging countries i) run current account surpluses, ii) accumulate international reserves and receive net private in flows. We study a two-sector, tradable and nontradable, small open economy. There is a growth externality in the tradable sector and agents have imperfect access to international financial markets. By accumulating foreign reserves, the government induces a real exchange rate depreciation and a reallocation of production towards the tradable sector that boosts growth. Financial frictions generate imperfect substitutability between private and public debt flows so that private agents do not perfectly offset the government policy. The possibility of using reserves to provide liquidity during crises amplifies the positive impact of reserve accumulation on growth. The optimal reserve management en- tails a fast rate of reserve accumulation, as well as higher growth and larger current account surpluses compared to the economy with no policy intervention. The model is also consistent with the negative relationship between in flows of foreign aid and growth observed in low income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Gianluca Benigno & Luca Fornaro & Michael Wolf, 2021. "Reserve Accumulation, Growth and Financial Crises," Working Papers 1279, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1279
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    foreign reserve accumulation; gross capital flows; growth; financial crises; allocation; puzzle; exchange rate undervaluation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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