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Trilemma Policy Convergence Patterns and Output Volatility

  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Ito, Hiro

We examine the open macroeconomic policy choices of developing economies from the perspectiveof the economic “trilemma†hypothesis. We construct an index of divergence of the threetrilemma policy choices, and evaluate its patterns in recent decades. We find that the threedimensions of the trilemma configurations are converging towards a “middle ground†amongemerging market economies -- managed exchange rate flexibility underpinned by sizable holdingsof international reserves, intermediate levels of monetary independence, and controlled financialintegration. Emerging market economies with more converged policy choices tend to experiencesmaller output volatility in the last two decades. Emerging markets with relatively low internationalreserves/GDP could experience higher levels of output volatility when they choose a policycombination with a greater degree of policy divergence. Yet this heightened output volatility effectdoes not apply to economies with relatively high international reserves/GDP holding.

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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 qt5vb313vr.

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Date of creation: 22 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt5vb313vr
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  5. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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  14. Popper, Helen & Mandilaras, Alex & Bird, Graham, 2013. "Trilemma stability and international macroeconomic archetypes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 181-193.
  15. Barry Eichengreen & David Leblang, 2003. "Exchange Rates and Cohesion: Historical Perspectives and Political-Economy Considerations," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 797-822, December.
  16. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram Rajan, 2008. "A Pragmatic Approach to Capital Account Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 14051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Financial Instability, Reserves, and Central Bank Swap Lines in the Panic of 2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 480-86, May.
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