IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Optimal Currency Shares in International Reserves: The Impact of the Euro and the Prospects for the Dollar

  • Elias Papaioannou
  • Richard Portes
  • Gregorios Siourounis

Foreign exchange reserve accumulation has risen dramatically in recent years. The introduction of the euro, greater liquidity in other major currencies, and the rising current account deficits and external debt of the United States have increased the pressure on central banks to diversify away from the US dollar. A major portfolio shift would significantly affect exchange rates and the status of the dollar as the dominant international currency. We develop a dynamic mean-variance optimization framework with portfolio rebalancing costs to estimate optimal portfolio weights among the main international currencies. Making various assumptions on expected currency returns and the variance-covariance structure, we assess how the euro has changed this allocation. We then perform simulations for the optimal currency allocations of four large emerging market countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), adding constraints that reflect a central bank%u2019s desire to hold a sizable portion of its portfolio in the currencies of its peg, its foreign debt and its international trade. Our main results are: (i) The optimizer can match the large share of the US dollar in reserves, when the dollar is the reference (risk-free) currency. (ii) The optimum portfolios show a much lower weight for the euro than is observed. This suggests that the euro may already enjoy an enhanced role as an international reserve currency ("punching above its weight"). (iii) Growth in issuance of euro-denominated securities, a rise in euro zone trade with key emerging markets, and increased use of the euro as a currency peg, would all work towards raising the optimal euro shares, with the last factor being quantitatively the most important.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12333.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Papaioannou, Elias & Portes, Richard & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2006. "Optimal currency shares in international reserves: The impact of the euro and the prospects for the dollar," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 508-547, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12333
Note: IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Engle, Robert, 2002. "Dynamic Conditional Correlation: A Simple Class of Multivariate Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(3), pages 339-50, July.
  2. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  3. Richard Portes & Helene Rey, 1998. "The Emergence of the Euro as an International Currency," NBER Working Papers 6424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Masanori Ono, 2006. "On the Determinants of Exporters' Currency Pricing: History vs. Expectations," NBER Working Papers 12432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521046930 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Hau, Harald & Rey, Hélène, 2003. "Exchange Rates, Equity Prices and Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 3735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey Frankel, 2005. "Will the Euro Eventually Surpass the Dollar as Leading International Reserve Currency?," NBER Working Papers 11510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rey, Helene, 2001. "International Trade and Currency Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 443-64, April.
  10. Barry Eichengreen, 2005. "Sterling's Past, Dollar's Future: Historical Perspectives on Reserve Currency Competition," NBER Working Papers 11336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dellas, Harris & Bang Yoo, Chin, 1991. "Reserve currency preferences of central banks: the case of Korea," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 406-419, September.
  12. Eichengreen, Barry, 1998. "The Euro as a Reserve Currency," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 483-506, December.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2005. "The unsustainable U.S. current account position revisited," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  14. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "Interest Rates, Exchange Rates and International Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 11771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2004. "A Gravity Model of Sovereign Lending: Trade, Default, and Credit," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 50-63, June.
  16. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Hartmann, Philipp, 1998. "The Currency Denomination of World Trade after European Monetary Union," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 424-454, December.
  18. Harald Hau & Helene Rey, 2004. "Can Portfolio Rebalancing Explain the Dynamics of Equity Returns, Equity Flows, and Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 10476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Martin Feldstein, 1998. "The Political Economy of the European Economic and Monetary Union: Political Sources of an Economic Liability," NBER Working Papers 6150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
  21. Hau, Harald & Killeen, William & Moore, Michael, 2002. "The euro as an international currency: explaining puzzling first evidence from the foreign exchange markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 351-383, June.
  22. Lane, Philip R, 2005. "Global Bond Portfolios and EMU," MPRA Paper 654, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Feb 2006.
  23. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Alogoskoufis, George & Portes, Richard, 1990. "International Costs and Benefits from EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 424, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Engle, Robert F & Sheppard, Kevin K, 2001. "Theoretical and Empirical Properties of Dynamic Conditional Correlation Multivariate GARCH," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5s2218dp, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  26. Michael Dooley & Peter Garber, 2005. "Is It 1958 or 1968? Three Notes on the Longevity of the Revived Bretton Woods System," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 147-210.
  27. Detken, Carsten & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "The euro and international capital markets," CFS Working Paper Series 2000/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  28. Lorenzo Cappiello & Robert F. Engle & Kevin Sheppard, 2006. "Asymmetric Dynamics in the Correlations of Global Equity and Bond Returns," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 4(4), pages 537-572.
  29. H.Hau & W.Killeen & M.Moore, 2003. "How has the euro Changed the Foreign Exchange Market?," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 79, Netherlands Central Bank.
  30. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521632737 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521485845 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Engle, Robert F. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1995. "Multivariate Simultaneous Generalized ARCH," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 122-150, February.
  33. Gregorios Siourounis, 2008. "Capital Flows and Exchange Rates An empirical Analysis," Working Papers 00028, University of Peloponnese, Department of Economics.
  34. Barry Eichengreen and Jeffrey A. Frankel., 1996. "On the SDR: Reserve Currencies and the Future of the International Monetary System," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C96-068, University of California at Berkeley.
  35. Michael P. Dooley & J. Saul Lizondo & Donald J. Mathieson, 1989. "The Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(2), pages 385-434, June.
  36. Shioji, Etsuro, 2006. "Invoicing currency and the optimal basket peg for East Asia: Analysis using a new open economy macroeconomic model," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 569-589, December.
  37. Edwin M. Truman & Anna Wong, 2006. "The Case for an International Reserve Diversification Standard," Working Paper Series WP06-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  38. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2004," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 60 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou, 9.
  39. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and The Exorbitant Privilege," CEPR Discussion Papers 5220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  40. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  41. 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.
  42. Carsten Detken & Philipp Hartmann, 2002. "Features of the euro's role in international financial markets," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 553-569, October.
  43. Barry J. Eichengreen & Donald J. Mathieson, 2000. "The Currency Composition of Foreign Exchange Reserves: Retrospect and Prospect," IMF Working Papers 00/131, International Monetary Fund.
  44. Richard K. Lyons, 2006. "The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026262205x, June.
  45. Hau, Harald & Killeen, William & Moore, Michael J, 2000. "The Euro as an International Currency: Explaining Puzzling First Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  46. Niehans, Jurg, 1971. "Money and Barter in General Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 773-83, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12333. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.