Unregulated capital flows are likely excessive during a stagflation episode, owing to a macroeconomic externality operating through the economy’s supply side. Inflows raise domestic wages and cause unwelcome upward pressure on firm costs, yet market forces likely generate such inflows. Optimal capital flow management instead requires net outflows.
This paper proposes a theory of foreign reserves as macroprudential policy. We study an open-economy model of financial crises in which pecuniary externalities lead to overborrowing, and show that by accumulating international reserves, the government can achieve the constrained-efficient allocation.