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The Optimal Level of Foreign Reserves in Financially Dollarized Economies; The Case of Uruguay

Author

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  • Fernando M. Gonçalves

Abstract

This paper extends the framework derived by Jeanne and Rancière (2006) by explicitly incorporating the dollarization of bank deposits into the analysis of the optimal level of foreign reserves for prudential purposes. In the extended model, a sudden stop in capital flows occurs in tandem with a run on dollar deposits. Reserves can smooth consumption in a crisis but are costly to carry. The resulting expression for the optimal level of reserves is calibrated for Uruguay, a country with high dollarization of bank deposits. The baseline calibration indicates that the gap between actual and optimal reserves has declined sharply since the 2002 crisis due to a substantial reduction in vulnerabilities. While the results suggest that reserves are now near optimal levels, further accumulation may be desirable going forward, partly because banks' currently high liquidity levels are likely to decline as the credit recovery matures.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernando M. Gonçalves, 2007. "The Optimal Level of Foreign Reserves in Financially Dollarized Economies; The Case of Uruguay," IMF Working Papers 07/265, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/265
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2008. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," NBER Chapters,in: Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets, pages 185-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hutchison, Michael M & Noy, Ilan, 2005. "How Bad Are Twins? Output Costs of Currency and Banking Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(4), pages 725-752, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Christian B. Mulder & Matthieu Bussière, 1999. "External Vulnerability in Emerging Market Economies; How High Liquidity Can Offset Weak Fundamentals and the Effects of Contagion," IMF Working Papers 99/88, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wendell A. Samuel & Emilio Pineda & Mario Dehesa, 2009. "Optimal Reserves in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union," IMF Working Papers 09/77, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Ana Maria Ceh & Ivo Krznar, 2008. "Optimal Foreign Reserves: The Case of Croatia," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 32(4), pages 421-460.
    3. Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Milan Zavadjil, 2008. "Are Emerging Asia’s Reserves Really Too High?," IMF Working Papers 08/192, International Monetary Fund.

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