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Acerca del Nivel Adecuado de las Reservas Internacionales

  • Claudio Soto
  • Alberto Naudon
  • Eduardo López
  • Alvaro Aguirre

Under a flexible exchange rate regime international reserves contribute to reducing the risk of a financial crisis, and allow the monetary authority to exceptionally intervene in the exchange market. However, holding reserves is costly. In this paper, we analyze several issues concerning the adequate level of Chilean international reserves. In the first place, we compare the level of Chile’s international reserves with those of different sets of countries using various indicators. We then analyze empirically some of the benefits and costs of holding reserves. Our results show that Chile’s international reserves are high when measured with respect to GDP or M2, but they are in line with those of countries of similar characteristics when measured as a fraction of short-term residual debt. On the other hand, given the low risk of the Chilean economy, marginal changes in reserves have a very low impact on both the probability of a financial crisis and the sovereign spread of the country. Finally, as the sovereign spread has decreased over the last years, so too has the cost of reserves. In fact, by the end of 2002, and despite having a high reserves-to-GDP ratio, the cost of reserves as a fraction of GDP was considerably lower than the cost of other emerging economies.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 267.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:267
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  1. Roberto Chang & Andres Velasco, 1997. "Financial fragility and the exchange rate regime," Working Paper 97-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Kumar, Mohan & Moorthy, Uma & Perraudin, William, 2003. "Predicting emerging market currency crashes," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 427-454, September.
  4. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Working Papers 6620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo, 1996. "The new wave of private capital inflows: Push or pull?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 389-418, March.
  6. Olivier Jeanne & Charles Wyplosz, 2003. "The International Lender of Last Resort. How Large Is Large Enough?," NBER Chapters, in: Managing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 89-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fernando Aportela & Francisco Gallego & Pablo García, 2003. "Reserves Over the Transitions to Floating and to Inflation Targeting: Lessons From the Developed World," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 211, Central Bank of Chile.
  8. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-14, June.
  9. Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo Valdés, 1997. "Balance of Payments Crises and Capital Flows: The Role of Liquidity," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 11, Central Bank of Chile.
  10. Matías Tapia & Andrea Tokman, 2003. "Efectos de las intervenciones en el mercado cambiario: el caso de Chile," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 30(1 Year 20), pages 21-53, June.
  11. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2004. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 1-48, February.
  12. Hong G. Min, 1998. "Determinants of emerging market bond spread : do economic fundamentals matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1899, The World Bank.
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