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Turkey’s trilemma trade-offs: is there a role for reserves?


  • Cortuk, Orcan
  • Singh, Nirvikar


In this paper, we study the trilemma configuration of the Turkish economy. The paper starts by empirically testing the Mundell-Fleming theoretical concept of an “impossible trinity” (trilemma) for Turkey, following the Aizenman, Chinn and Ito (ACI) approach. This includes calculating the trilemma indices and investigating their evolution over the period of 1998Q1-2010Q4, which is split into three sub-samples according to the Turkey’s macroeconomic policies. We also introduce alternative empirical techniques in order to deal with possible misspecification problems detected in the ACI approach. These techniques include employing additional terms in the regression, Two Stage Least Squares, General Method of Moments and Kalman filtering. The analysis supports the conclusion that the trilemma trade-offs are binding for Turkey for each sub-period. Besides, it shows how contributions of financial integration and monetary independence have increased from the first period to the last, with corresponding limitations on exchange rate stability. The analysis continues by exploring the implications of changes in the trilemma indices for macroeconomic outcomes. Accordingly, it reveals evidence that financial integration and monetary autonomy together with corresponding loss of exchange rate stability have impacts on growth volatility, inflation and inflation volatility throughout 1998-2010, though these effects might differ for each sub-period. Finally, it finds that there is a key role for raising international reserves as trilemma trade-offs and their effects on macroeconomic variables have been mitigated with their accumulation

Suggested Citation

  • Cortuk, Orcan & Singh, Nirvikar, 2011. "Turkey’s trilemma trade-offs: is there a role for reserves?," MPRA Paper 33887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33887

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua Aizenman & Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2008. "Assessing the Emerging Global Financial Architecture: Measuring the Trilemma's Configurations over Time," NBER Working Papers 14533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2011. "Surfing the waves of globalization: Asia and financial globalization in the context of the trilemma," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 290-320, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Hafedh Bouakez & Nooman Rebei, 2007. "Why does private consumption rise after a government spending shock?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 954-979, August.
    5. Michael Hutchison & Rajeswari Sengupta & Nirvikar Singh, 2012. "India’s Trilemma: Financial Liberalisation, Exchange Rates and Monetary Policy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 3-18, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Canale, Rosaria Rita & de Grauwe, Paul & Foresti, Pasquale & Napolitano, Oreste, 2018. "Is there a trade-off between free capital mobility, financial stability and fiscal policy flexibility in the EMU?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86629, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. repec:spr:weltar:v:154:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10290-017-0302-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Aizenman, Joshua & Ito, Hiro, 2012. "Trilemma policy convergence patterns and output volatility," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 269-285.

    More about this item


    Financial trilemma; Turkish economy; International reserves; Monetary policy; Capital account opening;

    JEL classification:

    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates

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