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Precautionary demand for foreign assets in sudden stop economies: an assessment of the new mercantilism

  • Ceyhun Bora Durdu
  • Enrique G. Mendoza
  • Marco E. Terrones

Financial globalization had a rocky start in emerging economies hit by Sudden Stops. Foreign reserves have grown very rapidly since then, as if those countries were practicing a New Mercantilism that views foreign reserves as a war-chest for defense against Sudden Stops. This paper conducts a quantitative assessment of this argument using a stochastic intertemporal equilibrium framework in which precautionary foreign asset demand is driven by output variability, financial globalization, and Sudden Stop risk. In this framework, credit constraints produce endogenous Sudden Stops. We find that financial globalization and Sudden Stop risk can explain the surge in reserves but output variability cannot. These results hold using the intertemporal preferences of the Bewley-Aiyagari-Hugget precautionary savings model or the Uzawa-Epstein setup with endogenous impatience.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 911.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:911
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  1. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2002. "Credit, Prices, and Crashes: Business Cycles with a Sudden Stop," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 335-392 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  3. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 12909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2006. "Lessons from the Debt-Deflation Theory of Sudden Stops," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 411-416, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the Empirics of Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance-Sheet Effects," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6516, Inter-American Development Bank.
  7. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2006. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and the Price of Nontradables in Sudden-Stop-Prone Economies," IMF Working Papers 06/88, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  9. C. Bora Durdu & Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco Terrones, 2007. "Precautionary Demand for Foreign Assets in Sudden Stop Economies: An Assessment of the New Mercantilism: Working Paper 2007-10," Working Papers 18952, Congressional Budget Office.
  10. Frankel, Jeffrey & Cavallo, Eduardo, 2004. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," Working Paper Series rwp04-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  11. Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries; Formulas and Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Durdu, Ceyhun Bora, 2009. "Quantitative implications of indexed bonds in small open economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 883-902, April.
  13. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  14. Laura Alfaro & Fabio Kanczuk, 2007. "Optimal reserve management and sovereign debt," Working Paper Series 2007-29, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Uribe, Martin & Yue, Vivian Z., 2006. "Country spreads and emerging countries: Who drives whom?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 6-36, June.
  16. Woon Gyu Choi & Sunil Sharma & Maria Str�mqvist, 2009. "Net Capital Flows, Financial Integration, and International Reserve Holdings: The Recent Experience of Emerging Markets and Advanced Economies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 516-540, August.
  17. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1992. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 495-517, September.
  19. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Panageas, Stavros, 2008. "Hedging sudden stops and precautionary contractions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 28-57, February.
  20. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2006. "Endogenous Sudden Stops in a Business Cycle Model with Collateral Constraints:A Fisherian Deflation of Tobin's Q," NBER Working Papers 12564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  22. Marco Terrones & Eswar Prasad & M. Ayhan Kose, 2003. "Financial Integration and Macroeconomic Volatility," IMF Working Papers 03/50, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Stationary cardinal utility and optimal growth under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 133-152, October.
  24. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  25. Sunil Sharma & Woon Gyu Choi & Maria Strömqvist, 2007. "Capital Flows, Financial Integration, and International Reserve Holdings; The Recent Experience of Emerging Markets and Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 07/151, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls, Sudden Stops, and Current Account Reversals," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 73-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Martín Uribe, 2006. "Individual Versus Aggregate Collateral Constraints and the Overborrowing Syndrome," NBER Working Papers 12260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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