IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iee/wpaper/wp0085.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Accumulation of Foreign Exchange by Central Banks: Fear of Capital Mobility?

Author

Abstract

Foreign exchange holdings by central banks have increased significantly in the recent past. This article explains this development as a result of the liberalization of international capital markets. First, central banks accumulate reserves in order to protect the economy from potentially detrimental effects of sudden stops of capital flows and flow reversals. Second, central banks use the accumulation of reserves as a substitute for capital controls. Changes in the level of reserves are a form to manage net capital inflows. They permit the central bank to preserve some leeway for an independent monetary and financial policy despite the classic policy trilemma. The empirical analysis of a large panel data set supports the hypothesis that the accumulation of reserves is the consequence of a “fear of capital mobility” suffered by central banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Steiner, 2010. "The Accumulation of Foreign Exchange by Central Banks: Fear of Capital Mobility?," Working Papers 85, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, Osnabrueck University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iee:wpaper:wp0085
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://web.fb9.uni-osnabrueck.de/repec/iee/wpaper/12906268_WP_85.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls, Sudden Stops, and Current Account Reversals," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 73-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2006. "What matters for financial development? Capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-192, October.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew K & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "Contagious Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 1453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2008. "Assessing the Emerging Global Financial Architecture: Measuring the Trilemma's Configurations over Time," NBER Working Papers 14533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2005. "The Trilemma in History: Tradeoffs Among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies, and Capital Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 423-438, August.
    7. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. " Contagious Currency Crises: First Tests," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 463-484, December.
    8. Martin Gassebner & Noel Gaston & Michael J. Lamla, 2011. "The Inverse Domino Effect: Are Economic Reforms Contagious?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 183-200, February.
    9. Frenkel, Jacob A, 1976. " A Monetary Approach to the Exchange Rate: Doctrinal Aspects and Empirical Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 200-224.
    10. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    11. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    12. Axel Dreher & Roland Vaubel, 2005. "Foreign Exchange Intervention and the Political Business Cycle: A Panel Data Analysis�," TWI Research Paper Series 9, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    13. Philip Lane & Dominic Burke, 2001. "The Empirics of Foreign Reserves," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 423-434, October.
    14. Joseph P. Joyce & Ilan Noy, 2008. "The IMF and the Liberalization of Capital Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 413-430, August.
    15. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2014. "Sovereigns, Upstream Capital Flows, And Global Imbalances," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1240-1284, October.
    16. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2011. "Surfing the waves of globalization: Asia and financial globalization in the context of the trilemma," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 290-320, September.
    17. 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.
    18. Korinek, Anton & Servén, Luis, 2016. "Undervaluation through foreign reserve accumulation: Static losses, dynamic gains," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 104-136.
    19. 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.
    20. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "International Investors, the U.S. Current Account, and the Dollar," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 1-66.
    21. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    22. 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.
    23. Alexander D. Rothenberg & Francis E. Warnock, 2011. "Sudden Flight and True Sudden Stops," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 509-524, August.
    24. Aizenman, Joshua & Edwards, Sebastian & Riera-Crichton, Daniel, 2012. "Adjustment patterns to commodity terms of trade shocks: The role of exchange rate and international reserves policies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1990-2016.
    25. Gustavo Adler & Camilo E Tovar Mora, 2011. "Foreign Exchange Intervention; A Shield Against Appreciation Winds?," IMF Working Papers 11/165, International Monetary Fund.
    26. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2002. "Capital Account Liberalization, Institutions and Financial Development: Cross Country Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. 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.
    28. 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, September.
    29. 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.
    30. 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.
    31. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:01:p:171-189_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    33. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-652, Special I.
    34. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico & Gluzmann, Pablo Alfredo, 2013. "Fear of appreciation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 233-247.
    35. Vaubel, Roland, 1997. "The bureaucratic and partisan behavior of independent central banks: German and international evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 201-224, May.
    36. Frenkel, Jacob A & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1981. "Optimal International Reserves: A Stochastic Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(362), pages 507-514, June.
    37. World Bank, 2011. "World Development Indicators 2011," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2315.
    38. Mody, Ashoka & Murshid, Antu Panini, 2005. "Growing up with capital flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 249-266, January.
    39. Honig, Adam, 2008. "Addressing causality in the effect of capital account liberalization on growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1602-1616, December.
    40. Henderson, Dale W. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1982. "Negative net foreign asset positions and stability in a world portfolio balance model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1-2), pages 85-104, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mandilaras, Alex S., 2015. "The international policy trilemma in the post-Bretton Woods era," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 18-32.
    2. Andrew J. Filardo & Pierre L. Siklos, 2016. "Prolonged Reserves Accumulation, Credit Booms, Asset Prices and Monetary Policy in Asia," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 364-381, February.
    3. Hur, Sewon & Kondo, Illenin O., 2016. "A theory of rollover risk, sudden stops, and foreign reserves," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 44-63.
    4. Kumhof, Michael & Yan, Isabel, 2016. "Balance-of-payments anti-crises," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 186-202.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Reserves; Capital Mobility; Macroeconomic Trilemma;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iee:wpaper:wp0085. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karin Wessler-Rensmann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ieosnde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.