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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. Hutchison, Michael M. & Noy, Ilan, 2004. "Sudden Stops and the Mexican Wave: Currency Crises, Capital Flow Reversals and Output Loss in Emerging Markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt88m6g98w, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2007. "Precautionary Demand for Foreign Assets in Sudden Stop Economies: An Assessment of the New Merchantilism," NBER Working Papers 13123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Joshua Aizenman & Nancy P. Marion, 2002. "The high demand for international reserves in the Far East: what's going on?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
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  8. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2001. "Credit, Prices, and Crashes: Business Cycles with a Sudden Stop," NBER Working Papers 8338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  10. Paolo Mauro & Törbjörn I. Becker, 2006. "Output Drops and the Shocks That Matter," IMF Working Papers 06/172, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Andrew Berg & Eduardo Borensztein & Catherine Pattillo, 2005. "Assessing Early Warning Systems: How Have They Worked in Practice?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(3), pages 5.
  12. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Hauner, 2006. "A Fiscal Price Tag for International Reserves," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 169-195, 08.
  14. Jeromin Zettelmeyer & Beatrice Weder & Christoph Klingen, 2004. "How Private Creditors Fared in Emerging Debt Markets, 1970-2000," IMF Working Papers 04/13, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Timothy J, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116, January.
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  17. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Jeffrey Frankel, 2007. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," Research Department Publications 4544, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II; Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970-2004," IMF Working Papers 06/69, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," Working Papers id:357, eSocialSciences.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Robert P. Flood & Nancy P. Marion, 2002. "Holding International Reserves in an Era of High Capital Mobility," IMF Working Papers 02/62, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Marcus Miller & Lei Zhang, 2007. "Fear and Market Failure: Global Imbalances and “Self-Insurance”," Research Department Publications 4498, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  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. Pablo E. Guidotti & Federico Sturzenegger & Agustín Villar, 2004. "On the Consequences of Sudden Stops," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  27. Paolo Mauro & Törbjörn I. Becker & Jonathan David Ostry & Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "Country Insurance; The Role of Domestic Policies," IMF Occasional Papers 254, International Monetary Fund.
  28. 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.
  29. Sebastian Edwards, 1985. "On the Interest Rate Elasticity of the Demand for International Reserves: Some Evidence from Developing Coutries," NBER Working Papers 1532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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