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International reserves and swap lines: substitutes or complements?

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  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Yothin Jinjarak
  • Donghyun Park

Abstract

Developing Asia experienced a sharp surge in foreign currency reserves prior to the 2008-9 crisis. The global crisis has been associated with an unprecedented rise of swap agreements between central banks of larger economies and their counterparts in smaller economies. We explore whether such swap lines can reduce the need for reserve accumulation. The evidence suggests that there is only a limited scope for swaps to substitute for reserves. The selectivity of the swap lines indicates that only countries with significant trade and financial linkages can expect access to such ad hoc arrangements, on a case by case basis. Moral hazard concerns suggest that the applicability of these arrangements will remain limited. However, deepening swap agreements and regional reserve pooling arrangements may weaken the precautionary motive for reserve accumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Donghyun Park, 2010. "International reserves and swap lines: substitutes or complements?," NBER Working Papers 15804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15804
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aizenman, Joshua & Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2010. "Selective swap arrangements and the global financial crisis: Analysis and interpretation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 353-365, June.
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    8. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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