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A theory of rollover risk, sudden stops, and foreign reserves

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Abstract

Emerging economies, unlike advanced economies, have accumulated large foreign reserve holdings. We argue that this policy is an optimal response to an increase in foreign debt rollover risk. In our model, reserves play a key role in reducing debt rollover crises (\"sudden stops\"), akin to the role of bank reserves in preventing bank runs. We find that a small, unexpected, and permanent increase in rollover risk accounts for the outburst of sudden stops in the late 1990s, the subsequent increase in foreign reserves holdings, and the salient resilience of emerging economies to sudden stops ever since. Finally, we show that a policy of pooling reserves can substantially reduce the reserves needed by emerging economies.

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  • Sewon Hur & Illenin O. Kondo, 2013. "A theory of rollover risk, sudden stops, and foreign reserves," International Finance Discussion Papers 1073, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1073
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    JEL classification:

    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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