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An econometric model of capital flight from developing countries

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  • Lisa M. Schineller
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes capital flight from a group of seventeen developing nations over the period 1978 to 1993. The paper briefly discusses several empirical definitions of capital flight and presents estimates of capital flight for the sample based on some of these measures. In general, the data reveal periodic episodes of dramatic flight through the late 1980s, at which point many nations began to experience strong capital inflows. Anecdotal evidence for the nations in our sample underpins our hypothesis that capital flight is driven by a heightened, pervasive risk which reflects the degree of domestic macroeconomic imbalance which is domestically undiversifiable. Our econometric model of the determinants of capital flight extends previous empirical studies of flight by expanding both the cross section of nations and time horizon of analysis. Given the panel data set, we consider a country specific error component to account for the possibility of unobserved country heterogeneity and employ fixed- effects and random-effects estimation. We instrument for potentially endogenous explanatory variables and in doing so consider a fixed-effects system. The results, based on several different measures of flight, highlight the importance of modelling flight with a country specific error component. While other proxies of the risk associated with macroeconomic imbalance are not significant, the central government surplus is negatively, statistically significantly related to flight. This highlights the motivation of investors to move capital both to escape future taxation directly and indirectly via monetization of deficits. Therefore, even when taking into account other measures of risk, the higher taxation risk, both directly and indirectly through expectations of future inflation, dominates the regressions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 579.

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    Date of creation: 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:579

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    Related research

    Keywords: Capital movements ; Developing countries ; Econometric models;

    References

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    1. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Some Thoughts on the Role of Fiscal Policy in Stabilization and Structural Adjustment in Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Michael P. Dooley & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Capital Flight, External Debt and Domestic Policies," NBER Working Papers 4793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818551, April.
    5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Capital Inflows Problem: Concepts And Issues," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 54-66, 07.
    6. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
    7. Michael P. Dooley & Eduardo Fernandez-Arias & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Recent Private Capital Inflows to Developing Countries: Is the Debt Crisis History?," NBER Working Papers 4792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robert E. Cumby & Richard M. Levich, 1987. "On the Definition and Magnitude of Recent Capital Flight," NBER Working Papers 2275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen Reinhart & Guillermo Calvo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America," IMF Working Papers 92/62, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Hajivassiliou, V. A., 1989. "Do the secondary markets believe in life after debt?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 252, The World Bank.
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    17. Michael P. Dooley, 1988. "Capital Flight: A Response to Differences in Financial Risks," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(3), pages 422-436, September.
    18. David Robinson & Ranjit Teja & Yangho Byeon & Wanda Tseng, 1991. "Thailand," IMF Occasional Papers 85, International Monetary Fund.
    19. repec:imf:imfpdp:9310 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Hausman, Jerry A & Taylor, William E, 1981. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1377-98, November.
    21. Mark R. Stone, 1991. "On the Information Content of Ldc Secondary Loan Market Prices," IMF Working Papers 91/20, International Monetary Fund.
    22. Claessens, Stijn & Naude, David, 1993. "Recent estimates of capital flight," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1186, The World Bank.
    23. D. F. I. Folkerts-Landau & Donald J. Mathieson & Morris Goldstein & Liliana Rojas-Suárez & José Saúl Lizondo & Timothy D. Lane, 1991. "Determinants and Systemic Consequences of International Capital Flows," IMF Occasional Papers 77, International Monetary Fund.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "Capital flows to Emerging Markets: Liberalization, Overshooting, and Volatility," Working Papers 98.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    2. Augusto de la Torre & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2007. "Emerging Capital Markets and Globalization : The Latin American Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7187, August.
    3. Kamin, Steven B. & Ericsson, Neil R., 2003. "Dollarization in post-hyperinflationary Argentina," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 185-211, April.
    4. Lisa M. Schineller, 1997. "A nonlinear econometric analysis of capital flight," International Finance Discussion Papers 594, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Alexander Cobham, . "Capital Account Liberalisation and Poverty," QEH Working Papers qehwps70, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    6. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke & Pattillo, Catherine, 1999. "Flight capital as a portfolio choice," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2066, The World Bank.
    7. Marcella Mulino, 2002. "On the determinants of capital flight from Russia," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(2), pages 148-169, June.
    8. Andrew Powell & Dilip Ratha & Sanket Mohapatra, 2002. "Capital Inflows and Capital Outflows: Measurement, Determinants, Consequences," Business School Working Papers veinticinco, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
    9. Alejandro Diaz-Bautista & Cesar Alfredo Olivas Andrade, 2005. "Un Análisis de cointegración con corrección de errores de las Fugas de Capital y la Inestabilidad Política en México , An econometric model of capital flight in Mexico," International Finance 0511004, EconWPA.

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