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International reserves management and capital mobility in a volatile world: Policy considerations and a case study of Korea

  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Lee, Yeonho
  • Rhee, Yeongseop

This paper characterizes the precautionary demand for international reserves driven by the attempt to reduce the incidence of costly output decline induced by sudden reversal of short-term capital flows. It validates the main predictions of the precautionary approach by investigating changes in the patterns of international reserves in Korea in the aftermath of the 1997-8 crisis. This crisis provides an interesting case study, especially because of the rapid rise in Korea’s financial integration in the aftermath of the East- Asian crisis, where foreigners’ shareholding has increased to 40% of total Korean market capitalization. We show that the crisis led to structural change in the hoarding of international reserves, and that the Korean monetary authority gives much greater attention to a broader notion of ‘hot money,’ inclusive of short-term debt and foreigners’ shareholding.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt1867f7ng.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt1867f7ng
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  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P., 2003. "International Reserve Holdings with Sovereign Risk and Costly Tax Collection," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt9s7978n1, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Michael Hutchison & Ilan Noy, 2002. "How bad are twins? output costs of currency and banking crises," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 2002-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Eric Zivot & Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 944, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1999. "Lending Booms, Reserves, and the Sustainability of Short-Term Debt: Inferences from the Pricing of Syndicated Bank Loans," NBER Working Papers 7113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1980. "LDC participation in international financial markets : Debt and reserves," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 3-21, February.
  6. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  8. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  10. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2000. "Contagion, Globalization, and the Volatility of Capital Flows," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 15-41 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
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