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The illusive quest: do international capital controls contribute to currency stability?

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  • Reuven Glick
  • Michael Hutchison

Abstract

We investigate the effectiveness of capital controls in insulating economies from currency crises, focusing in particular on both direct and indirect effects of capital controls and how these relationships may have changed over time in response to global financial liberalization and the greater mobility of international capital. We predict the likelihood of currency crises using standard macroeconomic variables and a probit equation estimation methodology with random effects. We employ a comprehensive panel data set comprised of 69 emerging market and developing economies over 1975–2004. Both standard and duration-adjusted measures of capital control intensity (allowing controls to "depreciate" over time) suggest that capital controls have not effectively insulated economies from currency crises at any time during our sample period. Maintaining real GDP growth and limiting real overvaluation are critical factors preventing currency crises, not capital controls. However, the presence of capital controls greatly increases the sensitivity of currency crises to changes in real GDP growth and real exchange rate overvaluation, making countries more vulnerable to changes in fundamentals. Our model suggests that emerging markets weathered the 2007-08 crisis relatively well because of strong output growth and exchange rate flexibility that limited overvaluation of their currencies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2010-15.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2010-15

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Keywords: Financial crises ; Capital market ; Emerging markets ; Econometric models ; Panel analysis;

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References

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  1. Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls, Sudden Stops, and Current Account Reversals," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 73-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Reuven Glick & Xueyan Guo & Michael Hutchison, 2004. "Currency Crises, Capital Account Liberalization, and Selection Bias," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-11, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Mulder, Christian & Perrelli, Roberto & Rocha, Manuel Duarte, 2012. "External vulnerability, balance sheet effects, and the institutional framework — Lessons from the Asian crisis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 16-28.

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