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The Optimal Level of International Reserves For Emerging Market Countries: A New Formula and Some Applications

  • Jeanne, Olivier
  • Rancière, Romain

We present a model of the optimal level of international reserves for a small open economy seeking insurance against sudden stops in capital flows. We derive a formula for the optimal level of reserves, and show that plausible calibrations can explain reserves of the order of magnitude observed in many emerging market countries. However, the recent build-up of reserves in emerging market Asia seems in excess of what would be implied by an insurance motive against sudden stops.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6723.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6723
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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the Empirics of Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance-Sheet Effects," Research Department Publications 4367, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Broner, Fernando A. & Lorenzoni, Guido & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2004. "Why do emerging economies borrow short term?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3389, The World Bank.
  3. Romain Rancière & Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann, 2008. "Systemic Crises and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 359-406, 02.
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  6. Marco E. Terrones & Enrique G. Mendoza & Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2008. "Precautionary Demand for Foreign Assets in Sudden Stop Economies: An Assessment of the New Mercantilism," 2008 Meeting Papers 56, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  9. Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "International Reserves in Emerging Market Countries: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 1-80.
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  16. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2004. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, Or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," NBER Working Papers 10957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-97, June.
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  19. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Paolo Mauro & Törbjörn I. Becker, 2006. "Output Drops and the Shocks That Matter," IMF Working Papers 06/172, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2005. "International Reserves; Precautionary vs. Mercantilist Views, Theory, and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 05/198, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2006. "Macroeconomic implications of changes in the term premium," Working Paper Series 2006-46, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  25. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-14, June.
  26. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The revived Bretton Woods system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 307-313.
  27. Ben-Bassat, Avraham & Gottlieb, Daniel, 1992. "Optimal international reserves and sovereign risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3-4), pages 345-362, November.
  28. Edwards, Sebastian, 1985. "On the interest-rate elasticity of the demand for international reserves: Some evidence from developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 287-295, June.
  29. Pablo E. Guidotti & Federico Sturzenegger & Agustín Villar, 2004. "On the Consequences of Sudden Stops," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
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