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Accumulation of Reserves and Keeping Up with the Joneses: The Case of LATAM Economies

  • Yin-Wong Cheung

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

  • Rajeswari Sengupta

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

In this paper we explore the 'Mrs.Machlup's Wardrobe' hypothesis to understand the growing trend of Latin American economies amassing large stocks of international reserves. Using annual data from 1980 to 2007, we examine the relevance of the argument that economies continue to add to their existing reserves stock in order to keep up with the Joneses. We find strong evidence of presence of the Joneses effect. The effect is robust to the inclusion of traditional determinants of reserve accumulation as well as region specific factors including commodity exports that set the Latin American economies apart from other emerging economies.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 212010.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:212010
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  10. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "The modern history of exchange rate arrangements: A reinterpretation," MPRA Paper 14070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. 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.
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  17. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Self-Protection for Emerging Market Economies," NBER Working Papers 6907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Pablo García & Claudio Soto, 2006. "Large Hoardings of International Reserves: Are They Worth It?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Ricardo Caballero & César Calderón & Luis Felipe Céspedes & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Sc (ed.), External Vulnerability and Preventive Policies, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 6, pages 171-206 Central Bank of Chile.
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  23. Aizenman, Joshua & Sun, Yi, 2012. "The financial crisis and sizable international reserves depletion: From ‘fear of floating’ to the ‘fear of losing international reserves’?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 250-269.
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  27. Frenkel, Jacob A, 1974. "The Demand for International Reserves by Developed and Less-Developed Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(161), pages 14-24, February.
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