Are There Optimal Multiple Reserve Requirements?

Marco Espinosa and Steven Russell
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Working Paper 96-18
November 1996

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A number of developing countries have adopted deficit-finance regimes involving multiple reserve requirements. One question the previous literature on this phenomenon has not addressed is whether multiple-reserves regimes can improve on regimes involving single-currency-reserve requirements if the policy settings of the latter regimes are assumed to be chosen optimally. We find that a "conventional" multiple-reserves regime--a regime with positive nominal rates on reservable bonds--cannot Pareto-improve an optimal single-currency-regime but can, in some cases, increase social welfare over such a regime.

JEL classification: E5, E6