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Precautionary Demand for Foreign Assets in Sudden Stop Economies: An Assessment of the New Mercantilism

  • Marco E. Terrones

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Enrique G. Mendoza

    (University of Maryland & NBER)

  • Ceyhun Bora Durdu

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Financial globalization had a rocky start in emerging economies hit by Sudden Stops. Foreign reserves have grown very rapidly since then, as if those countries were practicing a New Mercantilism that views foreign reserves as a war-chest for defense against Sudden Stops. This paper conducts a quantitative assessment of this argument using a stochastic intertemporal equilibrium framework in which precautionary foreign asset demand is driven by output variability, financial globalization, and Sudden Stop risk. In this framework, credit constraints produce endogenous Sudden Stops. We find that financial globalization and Sudden Stop risk can explain the surge in reserves but output variability cannot. These results hold using the intertemporal preferences of the Bewley-Aiyagari-Hugget precautionary savings model or the Uzawa-Epstein setup with endogenous impatience.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 56.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:56
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  5. Ceyhun Bora Durdu & Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2007. "Precautionary demand for foreign assets in sudden stop economies: an assessment of the new mercantilism," International Finance Discussion Papers 911, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  9. 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.
  10. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Panageas, Stavros, 2008. "Hedging sudden stops and precautionary contractions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 28-57, February.
  11. Martín Uribe, 2006. "Individual Versus Aggregate Collateral Constraints and the Overborrowing Syndrome," NBER Working Papers 12260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Jeffrey Frankel, 2007. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," Research Department Publications 4544, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  13. Uribe, Martin & Yue, Vivian Z., 2006. "Country spreads and emerging countries: Who drives whom?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 6-36, June.
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  15. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  16. Sunil Sharma & Woon Gyu Choi & Maria Strömqvist, 2007. "Capital Flows, Financial Integration, and International Reserve Holdings: The Recent Experience of Emerging Markets and Advanced Economies," IMF Working Papers 07/151, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Mendoza, Enrique G & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," CEPR Discussion Papers 6149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Stationary cardinal utility and optimal growth under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 133-152, October.
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  20. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2006. "Lessons From the Debt-Deflation Theory of Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 11966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  22. Marco Terrones & Eswar Prasad & M. Ayhan Kose, 2003. "Financial Integration and Macroeconomic Volatility," IMF Working Papers 03/50, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2007. "Quantitative implications of indexed bonds in small open economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 909, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. Woon Gyu Choi & Sunil Sharma & Maria Str�mqvist, 2009. "Net Capital Flows, Financial Integration, and International Reserve Holdings: The Recent Experience of Emerging Markets and Advanced Economies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 516-540, August.
  25. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  26. C. Bora Durdu & Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco Terrones, 2007. "Precautionary Demand for Foreign Assets in Sudden Stop Economies: An Assessment of the New Mercantilism: Working Paper 2007-10," Working Papers 18952, Congressional Budget Office.
  27. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2006. "Real Exchange Rate Volatility and the Price of Nontradables in Sudden-Stop-Prone Economies," IMF Working Papers 06/88, International Monetary Fund.
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