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Capital Controls or Exchange Rate Policy? A Pecuniary Externality Perspective

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Author Info

  • Gianluca Benigno
  • Huigang Chen
  • Christopher Otrok
  • Alessandro Rebucci
  • Eric R. Young

Abstract

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, a new policy paradigm has emerged in which old-fashioned policies such as capital controls and other government distortions have become part of the standard policy toolkit (the so-called macro-prudential policies). On the wave of this seemingly unanimous policy consensus, a new strand of theoretical literature contends that capital controls are welfare enhancing and can be justified rigorously because of second-best considerations. Within the same theoretical framework adopted in this fast-growing literature, we show that a credible commitment to support the exchange rate in crisis times always welfare-dominates prudential capital controls as it can achieve the first best unconstrained allocation. In this benchmark economy, prudential capital controls are optimal only when the set of policy tools is restricted so that they are the only policy instrument available.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1160.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1160

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: Capital controls; exchange rate policy; financial frictions; financial crises; financial stability; optimal taxation; prudential policies; planning problem;

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References

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  1. Anna Lipinska & Bianca De Paoli, 2013. "Capital Controls: a Normative Analysis," 2013 Meeting Papers 861, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Revisiting Overborrowing and its Policy Implications," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia (ed.), Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence, edition 1, volume 16, chapter 6, pages 145-184 Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Timothy J Kehoe & David K Levine, 1993. "Debt Constrained Asset Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1276, David K. Levine.
  4. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Financial Crises and Macro-Prudential Policies," IDB Publications 27738, Inter-American Development Bank.
  5. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia, 2010. "Monetary Policy Under Financial Turbulence: an Overview," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 594, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Enrique Mendoza & Javier Bianchi, 2010. "Overborrowing, financial crises and ‘macro-prudential’ taxes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
  7. Arnaud Costinot & Guido Lorenzoni & Iván Werning, 2011. "A Theory of Capital Controls as Dynamic Terms-of-Trade Manipulation," NBER Working Papers 17680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Javier Bianchi, 2009. "Overborrowing and systemic externalities in the business cycle," Working Paper 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  10. Bruce Ian Carlin & Shaun William Davies & Andrew Miles Iannaccone, 2010. "Competing for Attention in Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 16085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Nicolas E. Magud E. & Carmen M. & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality--A Portfolio Balance Approach," Working Paper Series WP11-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Huigang Chen & Eric Young & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Gianluca Benigno, 2013. "Optimal Policy for Macro-Financial Stability," 2013 Meeting Papers 636, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Gianluca Benigno & Luca Fornaro, 2013. "The financial resource curse," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51557, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl & Joseph B. Steinberg, 2013. "What will happen when foreigners stop lending to the United States?," Economic Policy Paper 13-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Mitsuru Katagiri & Ryo Kato & Takayuki Tsuruga, 2013. "Prudential Capital Controls: The Impact of Different Collateral Constraint Assumptions," Discussion papers e-12-014, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University.

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