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Financial Versus Monetary Mercantilism: Long-Run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding

  • Jaewoo Lee
  • Joshua Aizenman

The sizable hoarding of international reserves by several East Asian countries has been frequently attributed to a modern version of monetary mercantilism-hoarding international reserves in order to improve competitiveness. From a long-run perspective, manufacturing exporters in East Asia adopted financial mercantilism-subsidizing the cost of capital- during decades of high growth. They switched to hoarding large international reserves when growth faltered, making it harder to disentangle the monetary mercantilism from a precautionary response to the heritage of past financial mercantilism. Monetary mercantilism also lowers the cost of hoarding through its short-term boost to external competitiveness, but may be associated with negative externalities leading to competitive hoarding.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/280.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/280
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