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Working Papers


Central bank gold reserves and sovereign credit risk


Rathi, Sawan; Mohapatra, Sanket; Sahay, Arvind

 Publication Date




  Publication Code

WP 2021-03-02


Gold holdings with central banks are often considered to play a stabilizing role in times of crisis. This paper performs a cross-country panel data analysis of developed and developing countries to determine whether gold holdings of central banks contribute to sovereign creditworthiness. Our analysis confirms that an increase in central bank gold reserves reduces the credit default swap (CDS) spreads of a country. We also observe that during global crisis and country-specific crisis episodes, the role of central bank gold becomes even more important. In robustness tests, we account for potential endogeneity of central bank gold reserves using a Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) approach. The findings highlight the importance of gold in central bank reserves and indicate a positive role of gold in mitigating a nation's external vulnerabilities in an uncertain global economic environment.


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