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Financial versus Monetary Mercantilism-Long-run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Lee, Jaewoo

Abstract

The sizable hoarding of international reserves by several East Asian countries has been frequently attributed to a modern version of monetary mercantilism – hoarding international reserves in order to improve competitiveness. From a long-run perspective, manufacturing exporters in East Asia adopted financial mercantilism—subsidizing the cost of capital— during decades of high growth. They switched to hoarding large international reserves when growth faltered, making it harder to disentangle the monetary mercantilism from precautionary response to the heritage of past financial mercantilism. Monetary mercantilism also lowers the cost of hoarding, but may be associated with negative externalities leading to competitive hoarding.

Suggested Citation

  • Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Jaewoo, 2007. "Financial versus Monetary Mercantilism-Long-run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5r95t1xf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt5r95t1xf
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    Keywords

    Mercantilism; cost of capital; competitive real depreciations; self insurance; precautionary hoarding;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions

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