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Hoarding International Reserves Versus a Pigovian Tax-Cum-Subsidy Scheme: Reflections on the Deleveraging Crisis of 2008-9, and a Cost Benefit Analysis

  • Joshua Aizenman

We outline the case for supporting self-insurance by imposing a tax on external borrowing in a model of an emerging market. Entrepreneurs finance tangible investments via bank intermediation of foreign borrowing, exposing the economy to negative fire-sale externalities at times of deleveraging; a risk that increases with the ratio of aggregate external borrowing to international reserves. Price taking economic agents ignore their marginal impact on the expected cost of a deleveraging crisis. The optimal borrowing tax reduces the distorted activity, external borrowing, and induces borrowers to co-finance the precautionary hoarding of international reserves.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15484.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Publication status: published as Joshua Aizenman, 2010. "Hoarding international reserves versus a Pigovian tax-cum-subsidy scheme: Reflections on the deleveraging crisis of 2008-9, and a cost benefit analysis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15484
Note: ITI
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  1. Joshua Aizenman & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1999. "Reserve Requirements on Sovereign Debt in the Presence of Moral Hazard -- on Debtors or Creditors?," NBER Working Papers 7004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Yeonho & Rhee, Yeongseop, 2004. "International Reserves Management and Capital Mobility in a Volatile World: Policy Considerations and a Case Study of Korea," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt65p8p9qq, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The Social Cost of Foreign Exchange Reserves," Working Papers id:357, eSocialSciences.
  5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  6. Joshua Aizenman & Gurnain Kaur Pasricha, 2009. "Selective Swap Arrangements and the Global Financial Crisis: Analysis and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 14821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bryant, John, 1980. "A model of reserves, bank runs, and deposit insurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-344, December.
  8. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," NBER Working Papers 12345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kletzer, Kenneth M, 1984. "Asymmetries of Information and LDC Borrowing with Sovereign Risk," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 287-307, June.
  10. Yin-Wong Cheung & Xingwang Qian, 2007. "Hoarding of International Reserves: Mrs Machlup’s Wardrobe and the Joneses," CESifo Working Paper Series 2065, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. 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.
  12. Romain Ranciere & Olivier Jeanne, 2006. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves for Emerging Market Countries; Formulas and Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/229, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Ricardo Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2001. "Smoothing Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 8427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Holmstrom, B & Tirole, J, 1996. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Working papers 96-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza, 2003. "Currency Mismatches, Debt Intolerance and Original Sin: Why They Are Not the Same and Why it Matters," NBER Working Papers 10036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sebastian Edwards & Márcio G. P. Garcia, 2008. "Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa05-1, December.
  17. Paul Krugman, 2000. "Fire-Sale FDI," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies, pages 43-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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