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Fear and Market Failure: Global Imbalances and “Self-Insurance”

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  • Marcus Miller
  • Lei Zhang

Abstract

This paper proposes an integrated framework to analyze jointly two key issues: the emergence of global imbalances and the precautionary motive for accumulating reserves. Standard models of general equilibrium would predict modest current account surpluses in the emerging markets if they face higher risk than the US itself. But, with pronounced Loss Aversion in emerging markets, their precautionary savings can generate substantial “global imbalances,” especially if there is an inefficient supply of global “insurance. ” In principle, lower real interest rates will ensure that aggregate demand equals supply at a global level (though the required real interest may be negative). While a precautionary savings glut appears to be a temporary phenomenon, a process of correction triggered by a “Sudden Stop” in capital flows to the United States might lead to a “hard landing. ”

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Miller & Lei Zhang, 2007. "Fear and Market Failure: Global Imbalances and “Self-Insurance”," Research Department Publications 4498, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4498
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Jeanne & Romain Rancière, 2011. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves For Emerging Market Countries: A New Formula and Some Applications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 905-930, September.
    2. Chris Hunt, 2008. "Financial turmoil and global imbalances: the end of Bretton Woods II?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 71, September.
    3. Hume, Michael & Sentance, Andrew, 2009. "The global credit boom: Challenges for macroeconomics and policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1426-1461, December.
    4. Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "International Reserves in Emerging Market Countries: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 1-80.
    5. Bini Smaghi, Lorenzo, 2007. "Global imbalances and monetary policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 711-727.
    6. Kaltenbrunner, Annina & Nissanke, Machiko, 2009. "The Case for an Intermediate Exchange Rate Regime with Endogenizing Market Structures and Capital Mobility," WIDER Working Paper Series 029, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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