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Trilemma Policy Convergence Patterns and Output Volatility

  • Joshua Aizenman

    (University of California, Santa Cruz and National Bureau of Economic Research and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Hiro Ito

    (Portland State University)

We examine the development of open macroeconomic policy choices among developing economies from the perspective of the powerful "trilemma" hypothesis. We construct an index of divergence of the three trilemma policy choices, and evaluate its patterns in recent decades. We find that the three dimensions of the trilemma configurations are converging towards a "middle ground" among emerging market economies, equipped with managed exchange rate flexibility, underpinned by sizable holdings of international reserves, and intermediate levels of monetary independence and financial integration. We also find emerging market economies with more converged policy choices tend to experience smaller output volatility in the last two decades. Emerging markets with relatively low international reserves/GDP could experience higher levels of output volatility when they choose a policy combination with a greater degree of policy divergence while this heightened output volatility effect does not apply to economies with relatively high international reserves/GDP holding.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 112012.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:112012
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  1. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2007. "International Reserves: Precautionary Versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 191-214, April.
  2. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2002. "External Wealth, the Trade Balance, and the Real Exchange Rate," IMF Working Papers 02/51, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2009. "Assessing the Emerging Global Financial Architecture: Measuring the Trilemma's Configurations over Time," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt840728sc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," NBER Working Papers 11370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Cortuk, Orcan & Singh, Nirvikar, 2011. "Turkey’s trilemma trade-offs: is there a role for reserves?," MPRA Paper 33887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  7. Cortuk, Orcan & Singh, Nirvikar, 2011. "Turkey's trilemma trade-offs," MPRA Paper 35623, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Obstfeld, Maurice & Shambaugh, Jay C & Taylor, Alan M., 2004. "The Trilemma in History: Trade-offs Among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies and Capital Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 4352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Hutchison, Michael & Sengupta, Rajeswari & Singh, Nirvikar, 2010. "India’s trilemma: financial liberalization, exchange rates and monetary policy," MPRA Paper 25327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. 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.
  11. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2006. "Monetary Policy Challenges in Emerging Markets: Sudden Stop, Liability Dollarization, and Lender of Last Resort," NBER Working Papers 12788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2008. "A Pragmatic Approach to Capital Account Liberalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 149-72, Summer.
  13. M Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 8-62, April.
  14. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P., 2003. "International Reserve Holdings with Sovereign Risk and Costly Tax Collection," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt9s7978n1, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  15. Jonathan David Ostry & Anne Marie Gulde & Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1995. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," IMF Working Papers 95/121, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Aizenman, Joshua & D. Chinn, Menzie & Ito, Hiro, 2009. "Surfing the Waves of Globalization: Asia and Financial Globalization in the Context of the Trilemma," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 180, Asian Development Bank.
  17. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Financial Instability, Reserves, and Central Bank Swap Lines in the Panic of 2008," NBER Working Papers 14826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Aizenman, Joshua, 2011. "The Impossible Trinity – from the Policy Trilemma to the Policy Quadrilemma," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8cq7g4c9, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  19. Peter Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Discussion Papers 07-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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  21. 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," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp126, IIIS.
  22. M. Ayhan Kose & Kenneth Rogoff & Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Effects of Financial Globalization on Developing Countries; Some Empirical Evidence," IMF Occasional Papers 220, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Jay C. Shambaugh, 2004. "The Effect of Fixed Exchange Rates on Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 300-351, February.
  24. Popper, Helen & Mandilaras, Alex & Bird, Graham, 2013. "Trilemma stability and international macroeconomic archetypes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 181-193.
  25. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 57-94, April.
  26. Hali J. Edison & Michael W. Klein & Luca Ricci & Torsten Sloek, 2002. "Capital Account Liberalization and Economic Performance: Survey and Synthesis," NBER Working Papers 9100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Sergio L. Schmukler & Luis Serven, 2002. "Global Transmission of Interest Rates: Monetary Independence and Currency Regime," NBER Working Papers 8828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Sebastian Edwards, 2001. "Capital Mobility and Economic Performance: Are Emerging Economies Different?," NBER Working Papers 8076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Barry Eichengreen & David Leblang, 2003. "Exchange Rates and Cohesion: Historical Perspectives and Political-Economy Considerations," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 797-822, December.
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  31. Helen Popper & Alex Mandilaras & Graham Bird, 2011. "Trilemma Stability and International Macroeconomic Archetypes in Developing Economies," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0311, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
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