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Are Emerging Asia’s Reserves Really Too High?

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  • Marta Ruiz-Arranz
  • Milan Zavadjil

Abstract

Empirical analysis does not suggest that reserves are "too high" in the majority of Asian countries, though China may be a special case. Much of the reserve increase in Asia can be explained by an optimal insurance model under which reserves provide a steady source of liquidity to cushion the impact of a sudden stop in capital inflows on output and consumption. Moreover, the benefits of reserves in terms of reduced spreads on privately held external debt further explains the observed growth in reserves since 1997-98. Using threshold estimation techniques, the paper shows that most of Asia can still benefit from higher reserves in terms of reduced borrowing costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Milan Zavadjil, 2008. "Are Emerging Asia’s Reserves Really Too High?," IMF Working Papers 08/192, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The social cost of foreign exchange reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 253-266.
    2. Durdu, Ceyhun Bora & Mendoza, Enrique G. & Terrones, Marco E., 2009. "Precautionary demand for foreign assets in Sudden Stop economies: An assessment of the New Mercantilism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 194-209, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2008. "Financial versus Monetary Mercantilism: Long-run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 593-611, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Valerie Cerra & Sweta Chaman Saxena, 2005. "Did Output Recover from the Asian Crisis?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(1), pages 1-23, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Levy Yeyati, Eduardo, 2008. "The cost of reserves," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 39-42, July.
    9. David Hauner, 2006. "A Fiscal Price Tag for International Reserves," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 169-195, August.
    10. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, "undated". "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
    11. Romain Ranciere & Olivier D Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries; Formulas and Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ghosal, Sayantan & Thampanishvong, Kannika, 2013. "Does strengthening Collective Action Clauses (CACs) help?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 68-78.
    2. repec:eee:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:273-282 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Julián David García-Pulgarín & Javier Gómez-Restrepo & Daniel Vela-Barón, 2015. "An Asset Allocation Framework with Tranches for Foreign Reserves," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 013440, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    4. Javier Santiso, 2009. "Sovereign Development Funds : Key Financial Actors of the Shifting Wealth of Nations," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 9(1), pages 291-315.

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