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Capital Account Regulations and Macroeconomic Policy: Two Latin American Experiences

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  • Guillermo Le Fort
  • Carlos Budnevich

Abstract

The regulations that limit international financial integration have been at the center of a recent policy debate. Any developing economy can benefit from financial development, but international financial integration implies the risk of macroeconomic instability. The approach that has been favored in Chile and Colombia is one of gradual and limited financial integration, attempting to increase the effectiveness of monetary and exchange rate policies. The reduction in the risk premiurn demanded by investors has created downward pressure on domestic real interest rates, however a lower interest rate would increase domestic expenditure, the price level and the current account deficit. Among the policies put into effect to deal with this problem are increasing exchange rate flexibility and taxing external financing. Both countries have registered a successful macroeconomic performance, with the success partly owing to effective capital account regulation. The effectiveness of the regulations is shown in that a once and for all currency appreciation followed by a depreciating trend has been avoided, and that the current account deficit has been kept at sustainable levels. In other words, capital account regulations have avoided the overshooting (over appreciation) of the real exchange rate that would have occurred with large amounts of short term capital inflows. Using stronger restrictions on capital flows, quantitative limits for example, would not only create very significant microeconomic costs and slow economic and financial developments, but also most likely would be ineffective.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_162.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_162

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  1. Kouri, Pentti J K & Porter, Michael G, 1974. "International Capital Flows and Portfolio Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 443-67, May/June.
  2. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1991. "Efficient investment incentives in the presence of capital flight," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 171-181, August.
  3. 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.
  4. William Poole, 1969. "Optimal choice of monetary policy instruments in a simple stochastic macro model," Special Studies Papers 2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1981. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," NBER Working Papers 0779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. José Darío Uribe, 1995. "Flujos de Capital en Colombia: 1978-1994," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002733, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  7. Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo, 1990. "Debt-Equity Swaps in Chile," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 109-26, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "Capital Inflows into Latin America: A Stop-Go Story?," NBER Working Papers 6441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael Ulan, 2000. "Review Essay: Is a Chilean-Style Tax on Short-Term Capital Inflows Stabilizing?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 149-177, April.
  3. Raúl Labán & Felipe Larraín, 1997. "El Retorno de los Capitales Privados a Chile en los Noventa: Causas, Efectos y Reacciones de Política," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 34(103), pages 339-362.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "Capital Flows, Real Exchange Rates, and Capital Controls: Some Latin American Experiences," NBER Working Papers 6800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dani Rodrik & Andres Velasco, 1999. "Short-Term Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 7364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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