A New Database on Individual Central Bank Reserve Composition

Hiro Ito and Robert McCauley have compiled a new dataset of the currency composition of international reserves over the 1999-2020 period.

The IMF’s COFER only presents aggregate currency shares. Other datasets of individual central bank reserves are less comprehensive, and/or report gross rather than net values (Iancu, et al. 2020).

For an individual central bank, the differences can be striking. Figure 13 for Sweden’s Riksbank is based on Iancu et al. (2020) data, Figure 14 is based on Ito and McCauley (2021) data.









In the aggregate, there are differences between the relevant data sets. The first figure is for USD shares, the second is for EUR shares.

Figure 1: USD shares of international reserves from IMF COFER (green), Iancu et al. (red), and Ito and McCauley (blue).


Figure 2: EUR shares of international reserves from IMF COFER (green), Iancu et al. (red), and Ito and McCauley (blue).

The differences are attributable to coverage (COFER covers in principle all reporting IMF members, while Iancu et al. and Ito-McCauley cover different sets of countries), and treatment of reserves.

Ito’s presentation of the data at the NBER data workshop is here. Previous Econbrowser posts on central bank rebalancing and holding composition. The data set website is here (available in either Excel or Stata formats). Unfortunately, the coverage in this publicly available data set is smaller (63 countries) than that used in Chinn-Ito-McCauley (73 countries), due to confidentiality restrictions imposed by  several Latin American central banks.


14 thoughts on “A New Database on Individual Central Bank Reserve Composition

  1. Moses Herzog

    Data set will be useful I’m sure. Lotta work that I wager other researchers and people looking for answers about currency and topics peripheral to currency will be grateful for. Hats off to the 3 men involved and others no doubt mentioned in the paper.

  2. ltr


    September 23, 2021

    A senior U.S. diplomat to Haiti resigns, citing the Biden administration’s ‘inhumane’ deportation policy.

    A senior American diplomat who oversees Haiti policy has resigned, two U.S. officials said, submitting a letter to the State Department that excoriated the Biden administration’s “inhumane, counterproductive decision” to send Haitian migrants back to a country that has been wracked this summer by a deadly earthquake and political turmoil….

    1. ltr


      April 1, 2010

      “We Made a Devil’s Bargain”: Former President Clinton Apologizes for Trade Policies that Destroyed Haitian Rice Farming

      President Bill Clinton, now the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, publicly apologized last month for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported, subsidized US rice during his time in office. The policy wiped out Haitian rice farming and seriously damaged Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient….

            BILL CLINTON: Since 1981, the United States has followed a policy, until the last year or so when we started rethinking it, that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so, thank goodness, they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked. It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. It was a mistake that I was a party to. I am not pointing the finger at anybody. I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else.

    2. ltr


      September 23, 2021

      US Envoy to Haiti Resigns, Citing Political Intervention and “Inhumane” Deportation Policy

      Exactly two months after his appointment, Dan Foote has submitted his resignation as United States Special Envoy to Haiti, citing a “deeply flawed” US policy toward the nation that includes continued political intervention and the administration’s recent decision to ramp up deportations. “I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees,” Foote wrote in his resignation letter, which was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on September 22.

      The resignation comes as the Biden administration pushes forward with one of the largest mass expulsions of asylum seekers in decades. At least 12 flights have transported an estimated 1,400 individuals from Texas to Haiti in the past four days, and such flights are expected to nearly double throughout the week. The Biden administration has pledged to totally close the Del Rio, Texas border camp, where some 14,000 people had gathered last week hoping to apply for asylum in the United States. Though the administration has stated it is prioritizing single adults for deportation, flight manifests show that a significant portion of those sent to Haiti are families with young children.

      The head of Haiti’s migration office, Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, has personally called for a moratorium on the flights. Delva, however, said the government was not in a position to make a formal request. “We need to understand that this is a relationship between a big and a small country,” he told the Washington Post.

      The administration is facing increasing criticism from influential figures within the Democratic party, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Schumer. While the NAACP as well as many human rights organizations have denounced the anti-Black treatment of refugees witnessed at the southern border. Earlier in the week, border patrol agents on horseback charged at individuals and in some cases seemed to brandish their reins as whips.

      “The events that took place yesterday are all too familiar to those that are aware of America’s ugly history,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson wrote, urging supporters to take action. “It is no secret that Haiti – the first Black republic – has been severely punished by western powers for centuries. This latest incident is nothing short of adding insult to injury.” The Haitian Bridge Alliance and Human Rights First noted this was the latest in a long history of discriminatory behavior toward Haitians seeking safety in the US….

      1. pgl

        It is as if Stephen Miller was still running this show. The Trump terrorists must be purged from border security and immigration reform must be passed by Congress – NOW!

        1. rjs

          there’s certainly something seriously amiss with a policy that dumps migrants who didn’t even come from Haiti onto that now chaotic, lawless island..

          “Deportees land in Port-au-Prince: ‘Nobody told us we were going back to Haiti’”
          PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — He crossed the Mexican border into Texas only two weeks ago, joyous at the prospect of building anew in the United States. Now part of the first wave of deportees rapidly ejected by the Biden administration amid a fresh surge at the border, Johnson Bordes, 23, stepped off a Boeing 737 on Sunday and into the Haitian capital, terrified by a city torn apart by violence in a homeland he could barely remember.
          Like many deportees arriving on charter flights at the airport in Port-au-Prince, 15 minutes from neighborhoods controlled by brutal armed gangs, Bordes’s family left Haiti in the great migration after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people. He was 12 when they left, first for the Dominican Republic, then on to Chile, where he was living with his mother and brother when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Encouraged by relatives in the United States, the family set out on a 4,500-mile trek to the U.S. border — never imagining the road would lead back to the devastated country they left more than a decade ago.
          “How could they bring us back here?” he asked. “This is an injustice. I don’t even know where we are going to sleep tonight.”
          He mingled with other confused deportees, many of whom hadn’t seen Haiti in years and now spoke Spanish or Portuguese better than Haitian Creole. Several families told The Washington Post that they were never told they were being deported back to Haiti.
          “If Biden continues with these deportations, he’s no better than Trump,” Bordes said. “I’m afraid for my safety here. I don’t even know this country anymore.”
          They began landing Sunday in a nation that some describe as Somalia of the Caribbean — a failed state suffering a humanitarian emergency that critics say is too dangerous and unstable for the thousands being deported.
          Recognition of the conditions led the Biden administration as recently as May to grant temporary protected status to tens of thousands of undocumented Haitians in the United States. At the time, officials cited “serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources” in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation.
          Since then, conditions in Haiti have deteriorated sharply — leading critics to describe the deportations now as contradictory.
          Haiti suffered the still unsolved assassination of its president in July and a devastating earthquake that killed 2,200 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, schools and churches in August. Violent street gangs have seized neighborhoods and key roads, torching homes and spreading a plague of rapes, kidnappings and killings that have caused thousands of residents to flee.


  3. macroduck

    Off topic –

    The dot plot shows Fed policymakers expect to keep the real funds rate negative through 2024. That’s with the output gap closing in 2022, inflation above the long-run target.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I’m still trying to make out that whole deal. They made a bunch of comments in the last couple days I haven’t read yet, I assume some of which is what you’re referring to. Lot to parse out I bet.

  4. Moses Herzog

    Menzie, you need to get one of those hot shot grad students to put the data in “R” or “Python”. Crack that bull whip.

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