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Paper #1795

Reserve accumulation, growth and financial crises
Gianluca Benigno, Luca Fornaro i Martin Wolf
Abril 2012
We present a model that reproduces two salient facts characterizing the international monetary system: Fast growing emerging countries i) run current account surpluses, ii) accumulate international reserves and receive net private inflows. We study a two-sector, tradable and non- tradable, small open economy. There is a growth externality in the tradable sector and agents have imperfect access to international financial markets. By accumulating foreign reserves, the government induces a real exchange rate depreciation and a reallocation of production towards the tradable sector that boosts growth. Financial frictions generate imperfect substitutability between private and public debt flows so that private agents do not perfectly offset the government policy. The possibility of using reserves to provide liquidity during crises amplifies the positive impact of reserve accumulation on growth. The optimal reserve management entails a fast rate of reserve accumulation, as well as higher growth and larger current account surpluses compared to the economy with no policy intervention.
Paraules clau:
Foreign reserve accumulation, gross capital flows, growth, financial crises, allocation puzzle, exchange rate undervaluation
Codis JEL:
F31, F32, F41, F43
Àrea de Recerca:
Macroeconomia i Economia Internacional
Publicat a:
Journal of International Economics, 139, article 103660, 2022

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