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Accumulation of reserves and keeping up with the Joneses: the case of LATAM economies


  • Cheung, Yin-Wong
  • Sengupta, Rajeswari


In this paper we explore the ‘Mrs. Machlup's Wardrobe’ hypothesis to understand the growing trend of Latin American economies amassing large stocks of international reserves. Using annual data from 1980 to 2007, we examine the relevance of the argument that economies continue to add to their existing reserves stock in order to keep up with the Joneses. We find strong evidence of presence of the Joneses effect. The effect is robust to the inclusion of traditional determinants of reserve accumulation as well as region specific factors including commodity exports that set the Latin American economies apart from other emerging economies.

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  • Cheung, Yin-Wong & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2010. "Accumulation of reserves and keeping up with the Joneses: the case of LATAM economies," MPRA Paper 30426, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30426

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gorea, Denis & Radev, Deyan, 2014. "The euro area sovereign debt crisis: Can contagion spread from the periphery to the core?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 78-100.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & Cheung, Yin-Wong & Ito, Hiro, 2015. "International reserves before and after the global crisis: Is there no end to hoarding?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 102-126.
    3. Dariusz Urban, 2016. "Gromadzenie aktywów rezerwowych a motyw naśladownictwa - doświadczenia wybranych krajów z państwowymi funduszami majątkowymi," Gospodarka Narodowa, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 3, pages 127-143.
    4. Dariusz Urban, 2011. "Macroeconomic Considerations and Motives of Sovereign Wealth Funds Activity," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 5(2), June.
    5. Bussière, Matthieu & Cheng, Gong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Lisack, Noëmie, 2015. "For a few dollars more: Reserves and growth in times of crises," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 127-145.
    6. Chang, Ming-Jen & Chang, Juin-Jen & Shieh, Jhy-Yuan, 2014. "Keeping up with the Joneses and exchange rate volatility in a Redux model," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 569-584.

    More about this item


    Demand for international reserves; ‘Mrs. Machlup's Wardrobe’ hypothesis; Speculative attack; Competitive hoarding Financial crisis;

    JEL classification:

    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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