Keeping up with the Joneses as a Factor Determining Foreign Exchange Reserve Accumulation: Evidence from Selected Economies with Sovereign Wealth Funds
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Publish date: 2016-06-30
Gospodarka Narodowa 2016;283(3):127–143
This paper investigates the motives behind foreign exchange reserve accumulation. The main goal is to empirically validate the hypothesis that, in addition to conventional macroeconomic variables, the demand for reserves is determined by a behavioral motive - a desire to keep up with the Joneses. The analysis is based on a sample of 12 Asian economies as well as Russia and covers the 1990–2013 period. The research employs panel regression models. The empirical findings, including several robustness checks, suggest the existence of competitive hoarding within the studied sample. The “Joneses effect” varies; it increases when Singapore, Indonesia and China are excluded from the sample. The effect decreases when Russia is excluded from the sample. The existence of behavioral motives behind reserve accumulation raises the question of whether “the Joneses effect” can determine the creation of sovereign wealth funds by countries.