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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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  1. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "The Cost of Reserves," Business School Working Papers 2006-10, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  2. Eduardo Borensztein & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "Do Sovereign Defaults Hurt Exporters?," Research Department Publications 4447, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. 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.
  4. Kevin Cowan & Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Sovereign Debt in the Americas: New Data and Stylized Facts," Research Department Publications 4480, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. 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.
  6. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2006. "Liquidity Insurance in a Financially Dollarized Economy," Business School Working Papers liquid, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  7. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2005. "International reserves: precautionary versus mercantilist views, theory and evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Martín González-Rozada & EduardoLevy Yeyati, 2008. "Global Factors and Emerging Market Spreads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1917-1936, November.
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  13. Sergio Pernice & Federico Sturzenegger, 2004. "Culture and social resistance to reform: a theory about the endogeneity of public beliefs with an application to the case of Argentina," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 275, Universidad del CEMA.
  14. 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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  17. 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.
  18. Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2009. "Optimal Debt? On the Insurance Value of International Debt Flows to Developing Countries," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 489-507, September.
  19. Dennis W. Jansen & Wankeun Oh, 1999. "Modeling Nonlinearity of Business Cycles: Choosing Between the CDR and STAR Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 344-349, May.
  20. Ize, Alain & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2003. "Financial dollarization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 323-347, March.
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