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Capital Controls and Recovery from the Financial Crisis of the 1930s

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  • Mitchener, Kris James

    (University of Warwick)

  • Wandschneider, Kirsten

    (Occidental College)

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    Abstract

    We examine the first widespread use of capital controls in response to a global or regional financial crisis. In particular, we analyze whether capital controls mitigated capital flight in the 1930s and assess their causal effects on macroeconomic recovery from the Great Depression. We find evidence that they stemmed gold outflows in the year following their imposition; however, time-shifted, difference-indifferences (DD) estimates of industrial production, prices, and exports suggest that exchange controls did not accelerate macroeconomic recovery relative to countries that went off gold and floated. Countries imposing capital controls also appear to perform similar to the gold bloc countries once the latter group of countries finally abandoned gold. Time series regressions further demonstrate that countries imposing capital controls refrained from fully utilizing their newly acquired monetary policy autonomy. Even so, capital controls remained in place as instruments for manipulating trade flows and for preserving foreign exchange for the repayment of external debt.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 132.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:132

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    Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/
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    Keywords: capital controls; financial crises; Great Depression; interwar gold standard;

    References

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Monetary Sovereignty, Exchange Rates, and Capital Controls: The Trilemma in the Interwar period," NBER Working Papers 10393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Reuven Glick & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Contagion and trade: why are currency crises regional?," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133, September.
    4. Wandschneider, Kirsten, 2008. "The Stability of the Interwar Gold Exchange Standard: Did Politics Matter?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(01), pages 151-181, March.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry & Portes, Richard, 1985. "Debt and Default in the 1930s: Causes and Consequences," CEPR Discussion Papers 75, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Shang-Jin Wei & Zhiwei Zhang, 2007. "Collateral Damage: Exchange Controls and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nikolay Nenovsky & Giovanni Pavanelli & Kalina Dimitrova, 2007. "Exchange Control in Italy and Bulgaria in the Interwar Period: History and Perspectives," ICER Working Papers 40-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    8. Grossman, Richard S., 1994. "The Shoe That Didn't Drop: Explaining Banking Stability During the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 654-682, September.
    9. Zhiwei Zhang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Collateral Damage," IMF Working Papers 07/8, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Campa, José Manuel, 1990. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s: An Extension to Lation America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(03), pages 677-682, September.
    11. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    12. A Alesina & V Grilli & G Milesi-Feretti, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," CEP Discussion Papers dp0169, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Arthur Blouin & Sayantan Ghosal & Sharun Mukand, 2012. "Globalization and the (Mis)Governance of Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 3715, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 2009. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 15142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Choudhri, Ehsan U & Kochin, Levis A, 1980. "The Exchange Rate and the International Transmission of Business Cycle Disturbances: Some Evidence from the Great Depression," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 565-74, November.
    16. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 1995. "Trade blocs, currency blocs and the reorientation of world trade in the 1930s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-24, February.
    17. Alesina, Alberto F & Grilli, Vittorio & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," CEPR Discussion Papers 793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "How Effective are Capital Controls?," NBER Working Papers 7413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Edwards, Sebastian & Rigobon, Roberto, 2009. "Capital controls on inflows, exchange rate volatility and external vulnerability," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 256-267, July.
    20. Eichengreen, Barry & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1985. "Exchange Rates and Economic Recovery in the 1930s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(04), pages 925-946, December.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Les contrôles de capitaux stimulent-ils les reprises ? Ce que nous enseigne la Grande Dépression
      by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-06-16 23:21:00

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