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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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  1. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2009. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup's Wardrobe and the Joneses," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 824-843, 09.
  2. Stanley Fischer, 1999. "On the Need for an International Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
  3. 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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  6. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Yuk-Pang Wong, Clement, 2007. "Are All Measures of International Reserves Created Equal? An Empirical Comparison of International Reserve Ratios," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-24, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. 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.
  8. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2tn4w8x6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2002. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," NBER Working Papers 8963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Joshua Aizenman & Daniel Riera-Crichton, 2006. "Real Exchange Rate and International Reserves in the Era of Growing Financial and Trade Integration," NBER Working Papers 12363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Yin-Wong Cheung & Guonan Ma & Robert N. McCauley, 2010. "Renminbising China's Foreign Assets," Working Papers 162010, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
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  15. KyungSoo Kim & Hyoung-Kyu Chey, 2010. "Some Salient Issues Raised By The Global Financial Crisis," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 1-10, 02.
  16. Yin-Wong Cheung & Hiro Ito, 2009. "A Cross-Country Empirical Analysis of International Reserves," CESifo Working Paper Series 2654, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. 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.
  18. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2010. "Real Exchange Rate, Mercantilism And The Learning By Doing Externality," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 324-335, 08.
  19. Obstfeld, Maurice & Shambaugh, Jay C & Taylor, Alan M., 2008. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," CEPR Discussion Papers 6693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-14, June.
  21. Joshua Aizenman, 2007. "Large Hoarding of International Reserves and the Emerging Global Economic Architecture," NBER Working Papers 13277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Self-Protection for Emerging Market Economies," NBER Working Papers 6907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. Joshua Aizenman & Daniel Riera-Crichton, 2008. "Real Exchange Rate and International Reserves in an Era of Growing Financial and Trade Integration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 812-815, November.
  25. Robert P. Flood & Nancy P. Marion, 2002. "Holding International Reserves in an Era of High Capital Mobility," IMF Working Papers 02/62, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Frenkel, Jacob A., 1980. "International reserves under pegged exchange rates and managed float : Corrections and extensions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 295-302, April.
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