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The Cost of Reserves

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati
  • Ugo Panizza

Few would dispute that sovereign defaults entail significant economic costs, including, most notably, important output losses. However, most of the evidence supporting this conventional wisdom, based on annual observations, suffers from serious measurement and identification problems. To address these drawbacks, we examine the impact of default on growth by looking at quarterly data for emerging economies. We find that, contrary to what is typically assumed, output contractions precede defaults. Moreover, we find that the trough of the contraction coincides with the quarter of default, and that output starts to grow thereafter, indicating that default episode, rather than a further decline, seems to mark the beginning of the economic recovery. This suggests that whatever negative effects a default may have on output, they are driven by its anticipation, independently of whether or not the country ultimately decides to validate it.

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Paper provided by Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in its series Business School Working Papers with number 2006-11.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udt:wpbsdt:2006-11
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Web page: http://www.utdt.edu/listado_contenidos.php?id_item_menu=4994

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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 2000. "Las crisis gemelas: las causas de los problemas bancarios y de balanza de pagos
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  2. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "The Cost of Reserves," Business School Working Papers 2006-11, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  3. 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.
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  8. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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  11. Eduardo Borensztein & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "Do Sovereign Defaults Hurt Exporters?," Research Department Publications 4447, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  12. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-28, April.
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  16. Bodman, Philip M & Crosby, Mark, 2002. "The Australian Business Cycle: Joe Palooka or Dead Cat Bounce?," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 191-207, June.
  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. 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.
  19. 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.
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