The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Javier Bianchi, Juan Carlos Hatchondo, and Leonardo Martinez
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Two striking facts about international capital flows in emerging economies motivate this paper: (1) Governments hold large amounts of international reserves, for which they obtain a return lower than their borrowing cost. (2) Purchases of domestic assets by nonresidents and purchases of foreign assets by residents are both procyclical and collapse during crises. We propose a dynamic model of endogenous default that can account for these facts. The government faces a trade-off between the benefits of keeping reserves as a buffer against rollover risk and the cost of having larger gross debt positions. Long-duration bonds, the countercyclical default premium, and sudden stops are important for the quantitative success of the model.