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The Cost of Reserves

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  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati
  • Ugo Panizza

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Ugo Panizza, 2006. "The Cost of Reserves," Business School Working Papers 2006-11, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  • Handle: RePEc:udt:wpbsdt:2006-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rose, Andrew K., 2005. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 189-206.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Chudik & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2013. "Econometric Analysis of High Dimensional VARs Featuring a Dominant Unit," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 592-649.
    2. Steiner, Andreas, 2013. "How central banks prepare for financial crises – An empirical analysis of the effects of crises and globalisation on international reserves," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 208-234.
    3. Levy Yeyati, Eduardo, 2008. "The cost of reserves," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 39-42, July.
    4. Kurmas Akdogan, 2010. "Foreign Exchange Reserves in a Credit Constrained Economy," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1014, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    5. Qian, Xingwang & Steiner, Andreas, 2017. "International reserves and the maturity of external debt," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 399-418.
    6. Hur, Sewon & Kondo, Illenin O., 2016. "A theory of rollover risk, sudden stops, and foreign reserves," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 44-63.
    7. Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Milan Zavadjil, 2008. "Are Emerging Asia’s Reserves Really Too High?," IMF Working Papers 08/192, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Layal Mansour, 2014. "The Power of International Reserves: the impossible trinity becomes possible," Working Papers halshs-01054614, HAL.
    9. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Tomas Williams, 2014. "Financial Globalization in Emerging Economies: Much Ado About Nothing?," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 91-131, January.
    10. Roland Beck & Sebastian Weber, 2011. "Should Larger Reserve Holdings Be More Diversified?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 415-444, December.
    11. Eduardo Levy-Yeyati & Tomás Williams, 2010. "US Rates and Emerging Markets Spreads," Business School Working Papers 2010-02, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    12. Malin Adolfson & Stefan Laséen & Jesper Lindé & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2011. "Optimal Monetary Policy in an Operational Medium‐Sized DSGE Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(7), pages 1287-1331, October.

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