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A double-edged sword. High interest rates in capital-control regimes

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  • Gylfi Zoega

Abstract

This paper derives the relationship between central bank interest rates and exchange rates under a capital control regime. Higher interest rate may strengthen the currency by reducing consumption and imports and by inducing foreign owners of local currency assets not to sell local currency off shore. There is also an effect that goes in the opposite direction: Higher interest rates increase the flow of interest income to foreigners through the current account which makes the exchange rate fall. The historical financial crisis now under way in Iceland provides excellent testing grounds for the analysis. Overall, the experience does not suggest that cutting interest rates moderately from a very high level is likely to make a currency depreciate in a capital control regime but highlights the importance of effective enforcing of the controls.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland in its series Economics with number wp47.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ice:wpaper:wp47

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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 466-72, May.
  2. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Andrea Cipollini & Panicos Demetriades, 2000. "Monetary Policy and the Exchange Rate During the Asian Crisis Identification Through Heteroscedasticity," Discussion Papers in Economics 00/11, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Feb 2002.
  3. Akira Ariyoshi & Andrei Kirilenko & Inci Ötker & Bernard Laurens & Jorge Iván Canales Kriljenko & Karl Friedrich Habermeier, 2000. "Capital Controls," IMF Occasional Papers 190, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Christopher W. Crowe & Jonathan David Ostry & Jun Il Kim & Marcos Chamon & Atish R. Ghosh, 2009. "Coping with the Crisis," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/08, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Rudy Loo-Kung, 2005. "Relative Price Volatility Under Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance Sheet Effects," NBER Working Papers 11492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ilan Goldfajn & Poonam Gupta, 2003. "Does Monetary Policy Stabilize the Exchange Rate Following a Currency Crisis?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(1), pages 5.
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