IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

International reserves and swap lines: substitutes or complements?


  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Jinjarak, Yothin
  • PARK, Donghyun Dr.


Developing Asia experienced a sharp surge in foreign currency reserves prior to the 2008-9 crisis. The global crisis has been associated with an unprecedented rise of swap agreements between central banks of larger economies and their counterparts in smaller economies. We explore whether such swap lines can reduce the need for reserve accumulation. The evidence suggests that there is only a limited scope for swaps to substitute for reserves. The selectivity of the swap lines indicates that only countries with significant trade and financial linkages can expect access to such ad hoc arrangements, on a case by case basis. Moral hazard concerns suggest that the applicability of these arrangements will remain limited. However, deepening swap agreements and regional reserve pooling arrangements may weaken the precautionary motive for reserve accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & PARK, Donghyun Dr., 2010. "International reserves and swap lines: substitutes or complements? ," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt81b751sh, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt81b751sh

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2010. "Selective swap arrangements and the global financial crisis: Analysis and interpretation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 353-365, June.
    2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    3. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2004. "A Gravity Model of Sovereign Lending: Trade, Default, and Credit," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 50-63, June.
    4. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2010. "The emerging global financial architecture: Tracing and evaluating new patterns of the trilemma configuration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 615-641, June.
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2007. "International Reserves: Precautionary Versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 191-214, April.
    6. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2009. "Bretton Woods Ii Still Defines The International Monetary System," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 297-311, August.
    7. Park, Donghyun & Estrada, Gemma, 2009. "Are Developing Asia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Excessive? An Empirical Examination," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 170, Asian Development Bank.
    8. Joshua Aizenman, 2010. "Hoarding international reserves versus a Pigovian tax-cum-subsidy scheme: Reflections on the deleveraging crisis of 2008-9, and a cost benefit analysis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
    9. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 57-94, April.
    10. 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 480-486, May.
    11. Love, Inessa & Preve, Lorenzo A. & Sarria-Allende, Virginia, 2007. "Trade credit and bank credit: Evidence from recent financial crises," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 453-469, February.
    12. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2009. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup's Wardrobe and the Joneses," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 824-843, September.
    13. Yothin Jinjarak, 2007. "On the Causality between Trade Credits and Imports: Evidence and Possible Implication for Trade Penalties on Debt Defaults," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 317-333.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Reserves; swaps; dollar standard; Asia; trade and financial linkages; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt81b751sh. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.