The paper develops a growth model in an overlapping generations framework of a financially repressed small open economy, and analyzes the effects of financial liberalization. The following observations are made: An increase (decrease) of interest rate (reserve requirements) reduces (increases) the steady-state stock of capital and the trade balance, but improves (deteriorates) the level of foreign exchange reserves. However, financial liberalization, in any form, is always welfare-improving. The paper, thus, advocates financial liberalization policies to be oriented towards reduction of reserve requirements rather than interest rate deregulation, if foreign reserve holding is not in a critical position.


July 2005 revision of EWP-20, originally posted June 2005.