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Central Banks and Gold Puzzles

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Inoue, Kenta

Abstract

We study the curious patterns of gold holding and trading by central banksduring 1979-2010. With the exception of several discrete step adjustments,central banks keep maintaining passive stocks of gold, independently of thepatterns of the real price of gold. We also observe the synchronization of goldsales by central banks, as most reduced their positions in tandem, and theirtendency to report international reserves valuation excluding gold positions.Our analysis suggests that the intensity of holding gold is correlated with ‘globalpower’ – by the history of being a past empire, or by the sheer size of a country,especially by countries that are or were the suppliers of key currencies. Theseresults are consistent with the view that central bank’s gold position signalseconomic might, and that gold retains the stature of a ‘safe haven’ asset at timesof global turbulence. The under-reporting of gold positions in the internationalreserve/GDP statistics is consistent with loss aversion, wishing to maintain asizeable gold position, while minimizing the criticism that may occur at a timewhen the price of gold declines

Suggested Citation

  • Aizenman, Joshua & Inoue, Kenta, 2012. "Central Banks and Gold Puzzles," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7bx7h0q4, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt7bx7h0q4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dominguez, Kathryn M.E. & Hashimoto, Yuko & Ito, Takatoshi, 2012. "International reserves and the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 388-406.
    2. Joshua Aizenman & Nancy Marion, 2004. "International Reserve Holdings with Sovereign Risk and Costly Tax Collection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 569-591, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aye, Goodness C. & Carcel, Hector & Gil-Alana, Luis A. & Gupta, Rangan, 2017. "Does gold act as a hedge against inflation in the UK? Evidence from a fractional cointegration approach over 1257 to 2016," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 53-57.
    2. Gopalakrishnan, Balagopal & Mohapatra, Sanket, 2017. "Turning Over a Golden Leaf? Global Liquidity and Emerging Market Central Banks’ Demand for Gold after the Financial Crisis," IIMA Working Papers WP 2017-04-02, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0362 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gopalakrishnan, Balagopal & Mohapatra, Sanket, 2017. "Global Risk and Demand for Gold by Central Banks," IIMA Working Papers WP 2017-01-01, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    5. Aizenman, Joshua & Inoue, Kenta, 2013. "Central banks and gold puzzles," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 69-90.
    6. Beckmann, Joscha & Czudaj, Robert, 2013. "Gold as an inflation hedge in a time-varying coefficient framework," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 208-222.
    7. Joscha Beckmann & Robert Czudaj, 2012. "Gold as an Infl ation Hedge in a Time-Varying Coeffi cient Framework," Ruhr Economic Papers 0362, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Gutiérrez, Martha & Franco, Giovanni & Campuzano, Carlos, 2013. "Gold prices: Analyzing its cyclical behavior," REVISTA LECTURAS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE, issue 79, pages 113-142, September.
    9. Joscha Beckmann & Theo Berger & Robert Czudaj, 2014. "Does Gold Act as a Hedge or a Safe Haven for Stocks? A Smooth Transition Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0502, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Aye, Goodness C. & Chang, Tsangyao & Gupta, Rangan, 2016. "Is gold an inflation-hedge? Evidence from an interrupted Markov-switching cointegration model," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 77-84.
    11. Beckmann, Joscha & Berger, Theo & Czudaj, Robert, 2015. "Does gold act as a hedge or a safe haven for stocks? A smooth transition approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 16-24.
    12. repec:zbw:rwirep:0502 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Hanan Naser, 2017. "Can Gold Investments Provide a Good Hedge Against Inflation? An Empirical Analysis," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 470-475.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences; International reserves; Central banks; Gold; exchange rate regimes;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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