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A Model of the International Monetary System

Author

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  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Matteo Maggiori

Abstract

We propose a simple model of the international monetary system. We study the world supply and demand for reserve assets denominated in different currencies under a variety of scenarios: a Hegemon vs. a multipolar world; abundant vs. scarce reserve assets; a gold exchange standard vs. a floating rate system. We rationalize the Triffin dilemma, which posits the fundamental instability of the system, as well as the common prediction regarding the natural and beneficial emergence of a multipolar world, the Nurkse warning that a multipolar world is more unstable than a Hegemon world, and the Keynesian argument that a scarcity of reserve assets under a gold standard or at the zero lower bound is recessive. Our analysis is both positive and normative.

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Farhi & Matteo Maggiori, 2016. "A Model of the International Monetary System," Working Paper 395971, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:395971
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2013. "A Model of Shadow Banking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(4), pages 1331-1363, August.
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    3. Caballero, Ricardo & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2015. "Global Imbalances and Currency Wars at the ZLB," CEPR Discussion Papers 10905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    5. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Sanjay R. Singh & Lawrence H. Summers, 2016. "A Contagious Malady? Open Economy Dimensions of Secular Stagnation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 581-634, November.
    6. Robert Z. Aliber, 1967. "Gresham's Law, Asset Preferences, and the Demand for International Reserves," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 628-638.
    7. Eichengreen, Barry & Livia, Chitu & Mehl, Arnaud, 2014. "Stability or upheaval? The currency composition of international reserves in the long run," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 201, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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    9. Matteo Maggiori, 2017. "Financial Intermediation, International Risk Sharing, and Reserve Currencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 3038-3071.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2016. "Real Interest Rates, Imbalances and the Curse of Regional Safe Asset Providers at the Zero Lower Bound," CEPR Discussion Papers 11503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Michael Bordo & Eric Monnet & Alain Naef, 2017. "The Gold Pool (1961-1968) and the Fall of the Bretton Woods System. Lessons for Central Bank Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 24016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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