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The Cost of Reserves

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati

The cost of holding international reserves to self insure against foreign currency liquidity runs is typically estimated as the sovereign spread on the risk-free return on reserves paid on the debt issued to purchase them. However, to the extent that reserves lower the probability of a run-induced default, they reduce the spread paid on the stock of sovereign debt, adding to the marginal benefits of reserve accumulation. This paper illustrates this aspect numerically, showing that the costs of reserves, as typically measured, may have been considerably overstated.

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Paper provided by Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in its series Business School Working Papers with number 2006-10.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udt:wpbsdt:2006-10
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Web page: http://www.utdt.edu/listado_contenidos.php?id_item_menu=4994

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
  2. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2005. "International reserves: precautionary versus mercantilist views, theory and evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "The Cost of Reserves," Business School Working Papers 2006-11, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  4. Gianni De Nicoló & Patrick Honohan & Alain Ize, 2003. "Dollarization of the Banking System; Good or Bad?," IMF Working Papers 03/146, International Monetary Fund.
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  7. 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.
  8. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
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  10. Kevin Cowan & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Sovereign Debt In The Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts," Business School Working Papers 2006-09, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  11. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Optimal Debt? On the Insurance Value of International Debt Flows to Developing Countries," Business School Working Papers 2006-12, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  12. Martín González Rozada & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6703, Inter-American Development Bank.
  13. Martinez, Jose Vicente & Sandleris, Guido, 2011. "Is it punishment? Sovereign defaults and the decline in trade," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 909-930, October.
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  15. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2008. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets, pages 185-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bodman, P.M. & Crosby, M., 1998. "The Australian Business Cycle: Job Palooka or Dead Cat Bounce?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 649, The University of Melbourne.
  17. Nicolo, Gianni De & Honohan, Patrick & Ize, Alain, 2005. "Dollarization of bank deposits: Causes and consequences," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1697-1727, July.
  18. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  19. Ize, Alain & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Financial dollarization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 323-347, March.
  20. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
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