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Barriers to international capital flows: when, why, how big, and for whom?

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  • Marco A. Espinosa-Vega
  • Bruce D. Smith
  • Chong K. Yip

Abstract

Until recently, the trend in world capital markets has been toward increasing “globalization.” Recent events in Latin America and Asia have forced a rethinking of the desirability of unrestricted world capital flows. In this paper we ask whether simple restrictions on capital mobility can succeed in reducing the volatility of funds flows, whether such restrictions are consistent with the long-term development of the countries that might impose them, whether such restrictions are beneficial for poorer countries while harming wealthier countries, and whether barriers to capital movements should be reduced in magnitude as the development process proceeds. ; We find first that appropriately selected barriers to capital movements can be used by a poorer country to eliminate the short-term volatility of capital flows and other economic volatility as well. Second, we find that these barriers are consistent with increased rather than reduced levels of economic development in both the short and long run. Third, we show that it is empirically plausible that such barriers will be reduced over time as economies develop. Fourth, we show that, in the long run, all countries can benefit from the presence of barriers to capital mobility. And, fifth, we show that barriers to capital mobility can increase the magnitude of net capital flows in a steady state.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2000-16.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2000-16

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Keywords: International economic relations ; International finance ; Capital movements ; Monetary policy;

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References

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  1. Elisabeth Huybens & Bruce D. Smith, 1996. "Financial Market Frictions, Monetary Policy and Capital Accumulation in a Small Open Economy," Working Papers 9608, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  2. Gertler, Mark & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "North-South lending and endogenous domestic capital market inefficiencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 245-266, October.
  3. Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen Reinhart & Guillermo Calvo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," IMF Working Papers 92/62, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Williamson, Stephen D, 1987. "Costly Monitoring, Loan Contracts, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 135-45, February.
  5. Fernandez-Arias, Eduardo & DEC, 1994. "The new wave of private capital inflows : push or pull?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1312, The World Bank.
  6. Stephen D. Williamson, 1984. "Costly Monitoring, Financial Intermediation, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," Working Papers 583, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Singh, A. & Hamid, J., 1992. "Corporate Financial Structure in Developing Countries," Papers 1, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
  8. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  9. Boyd, John H. & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Capital Market Imperfections, International Credit Markets, and Nonconvergence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 335-364, April.
  10. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  11. Eichengreen, Barry & Tobin, James & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 162-72, January.
  12. Boyd, John H & Smith, Bruce D, 1994. "How Good Are Standard Debt Contracts? Stochastic versus Nonstochastic Monitoring in a Costly State Verification Environment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 539-61, October.
  13. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1993. "Changes in the wealth of nations," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-16.
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Cited by:
  1. Jose Ricardo da Costa e Silva & Ryan A. Compton, 2008. "Capital Flows and Destabilizing Policy in Latin America," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 9(3), pages 491-517.
  2. Laurent Gheeraert & Joffrey Malek Mansour, 2005. "On the impact of private capital flows on economic growth and development," Working Papers CEB 05-003.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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