International Reserves Management and Capital Mobility in a Volatile World: Policy Considerations and a Case Study of Korea
Joshua Aizenman, Yeonho Lee, Yeongseop Rhee
This paper characterizes the precautionary demand for international reserves driven by the attempt to reduce the incidence of costly output decline induced by sudden reversal of short-term capital flows. It validates the main predictions of the precautionary approach by investigating changes in the patterns of international reserves in Korea in the aftermath of the 1997-8 crisis. This crisis provides an interesting case study, especially because of the rapid rise in Korea's financial integration in the aftermath of the East-Asian crisis, where foreigners' shareholding has increased to 40% of total Korean market capitalization. We show that the crisis led to structural change in the hoarding of international reserves, and that the Korean monetary authority gives much greater attention to a broader notion of 'hot money,' inclusive of short-term debt and foreigners' shareholding.
Published: Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Yeonho & Rhee, Youngseop, 2007. "International reserves management and capital mobility in a volatile world: Policy considerations and a case study of Korea," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-15, March.
This paper was revised on November 18, 2005