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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. Michael Hutchison & Rajeswari Sengupta & Nirvikar Singh, 2012. "India’s Trilemma: Financial Liberalisation, Exchange Rates and Monetary Policy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 3-18, 01.
  3. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2006. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," IMF Working Papers 06/189, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Chinn,M.D. & Ito,H., 2005. "What matters for financial development? : capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. 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.
  6. Henry, Peter B., 2006. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Research Papers 1951, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Joshua Aizenman & Nancy P. Marion, 2002. "International Reserve Holdings with Sovereign Risk and Costly Tax Collection," NBER Working Papers 9154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hali J. Edison & Francis E. Warnock, 2001. "A simple measure of the intensity of capital controls," International Finance Discussion Papers 708, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Cortuk, Orcan & Singh, Nirvikar, 2011. "Turkey's trilemma trade-offs," MPRA Paper 35623, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Atish R. Ghosh & Anne-Marie Gulde & Jonathan D. Ostry & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Does The Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," Working Papers 97-09, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  17. Joshua Aizenman & Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2010. "Surfing the Waves of Globalization: Asia and Financial Globalization in the Context of the Trilemma," NBER Working Papers 15876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Guillermo A. Calvo, 2006. "Monetary Policy Challenges in Emerging Markets: Sudden Stop, Liability Dollarization, and Lender of Last Resort," Research Department Publications 4504, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  19. Frankel, Jeffrey & Schmukler, Sergio L. & Serven, Luis, 2004. "Global transmission of interest rates: monetary independence and currency regime," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 701-733, September.
  20. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "External Wealth, the Trade Balance, and the Real Exchange Rate," Trinity Economics Papers 200121, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  21. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
  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. Peter Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Discussion Papers 07-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  24. repec:oup:qjecon:v:119:y:2004:i:1:p:300-351 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Federico Sturzenegger, 2003. "To Float or to Fix: Evidence on the Impact of Exchange Rate Regimes on Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1173-1193, September.
  26. Cortuk, Orcan & Singh, Nirvikar, 2011. "Turkey’s trilemma trade-offs: is there a role for reserves?," MPRA Paper 33887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  27. Popper, Helen & Mandilaras, Alex & Bird, Graham, 2013. "Trilemma stability and international macroeconomic archetypes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 181-193.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Sebastian Edwards, 2001. "Capital Mobility and Economic Performance: Are Emerging Economies Different?," NBER Working Papers 8076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. 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.
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