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The Inflationary Potential of the Historic 2021 SDR Allocation

Edoardo Beretta ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Doris Neuberger
From the journal The Economists’ Voice


The paper assesses whether Special Drawing Rights (SDR), namely international reserve assets and claims on freely useable currencies of its members created and allocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are inflationary. This question has been already raised in the economic literature, but the paper does so by specifically analyzing its most recent and highest allocation in August 2021 on the one hand and its use by member countries to combat the COVID-19 crisis on the other. Moreover, the article revamps the logical-conceptual debate on the essence of money as issued by banks and what the IMF (which is not a bank) is monetarily speaking capable of.

JEL Classification: E51; E58; F33; F34

Corresponding author: Edoardo Beretta, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, 6900, Switzerland, E-mail:


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Received: 2021-11-19
Accepted: 2022-05-18
Published Online: 2022-06-03

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