Foreign Exchange Reserve Accumulation and Economic Growth in Middle‑Income Countries
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Publication date: 2014-10-31
GNPJE 2014;273(5):81-111
The paper examines whether foreign exchange reserve accumulation contributes to economic convergence and growth processes in what are known as middle­‑income countries. The author’s analysis is divided into two research tasks with respect to the relationship between reserve accumulation, on the one hand, and processes of convergence and economic growth, on the other. The first task is to offer a credible explanation of this relationship. The second task is to provide stronger empirical evidence on the nature of the relationship extending beyond the results of simple correlation and regression analyses. There are four main channels through which reserve accumulation impacts per capita GDP growth, according to Dąbrowski: the Keynesian channel of investment stimulation, the international competitiveness channel (related to the revived Bretton Woods system hypothesis), the saving and investment channel (linked with the presence of financial constraints), and a channel alleviating the adverse effect of institutional weaknesses and market failures on economic growth. The author finds that, first, reserve accumulation has a strong and significant effect on convergence and economic growth regardless of the measure used in the analysis. Second, the relationship between reserves and per capita GDP growth is stronger in the sample with high- and middle­‑income countries than in the sample covering all the countries, Dąbrowski says. Third, the effect of reserve accumulation on economic growth is not only through the direct international competitiveness channel but also through other channels, the author concludes.
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