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International Reserves for Emerging Economies: A Liquidity Approach.

Jung, Kuk Mo and Pyun, Ju Hyun (2015): International Reserves for Emerging Economies: A Liquidity Approach.

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Abstract

The massive stocks of foreign exchange reserves, mostly held in the form of U.S. T-Bonds by emerging economies, are still an important puzzle. Why do emerging economies continue to willingly loan to the United States despite the low rates of return? We propose that a dynamic general equilibrium model incorporating international capital markets, characterized by a non-centralized trading mechanism and U.S. T-Bonds as facilitators of trade, can provide an answer to this question. Declining financial frictions in these over-the-counter (OTC) markets would generate rising liquidity premiums on U.S. T-Bonds. Meanwhile, the higher liquidity properties of the U.S. T-Bonds would induce recipients of foreign investments, namely emerging economies, to hold more liquidity, that is U.S. T-Bonds, in equilibrium. The prediction of our model is confirmed by an empirical simultaneous equations approach considering an endogenous relationship between OTC capital inflows and reserves holdings.

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