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.
This paper applies intertemporal models of precautionary saving to compute an optimal level of international reserves for The Gambia. The analysis focuses on current account shocks specific to a low-income economy with a significant import component and complements a more standard, rule-of-thumb reserve adequacy assessment. The results suggest a central range from 4.5 months to 7 months of imports, which is broadly aligned with the recent actual coverage. Notwithstanding parameter sensitivity, the simulations allow for more informed policy decisions that balance flexibility with a prudent approach to reserve use.