NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves

Maurice Obstfeld, Jay C. Shambaugh, Alan M. Taylor

NBER Working Paper No. 14217
Issued in August 2008
NBER Program(s):   IFM

The rapid growth of international reserves---a development concentrated in the emerging markets---remains a puzzle. In this paper we suggest that a model based on financial stability and financial openness goes far toward explaining reserve holdings in the modern era of globalized capital markets. The size of domestic financial liabilities that could potentially be converted into foreign currency (M2), financial openness, the ability to access foreign currency through debt markets, and exchange rate policy are all significant predictors of reserve stocks. Our empirical financial-stability model seems to outperform both traditional models and recent explanations based on external short-term debt.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14217

Published: Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 57-94, April.

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