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A Theory of Capital Controls as Dynamic Terms-of-Trade Manipulation

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  • Arnaud Costinot
  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Iván Werning

Abstract

This paper develops a simple theory of capital controls as dynamic terms-of-trade manipulation. We study an infinite horizon endowment economy with two countries. One country chooses taxes on international capital flows in order to maximize the welfare of its representative agent, while the other country is passive. We show that capital controls are not guided by the absolute desire to alter the intertemporal price of the goods produced in any given period, but rather by the relative strength of this desire between two consecutive periods. Specifically, it is optimal for the strategic country to tax capital inflows (or subsidize capital outflows) if it grows faster than the rest of the world and to tax capital outflows (or subsidize capital inflows) if it grows more slowly. In the long-run, if relative endowments converge to a steady state, taxes on international capital flows converge to zero. Although our theory emphasizes interest rate manipulation, the country's net financial position per se is irrelevant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17680.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17680

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References

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  1. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
  2. Olivier Jeanne & Anton Korinek, 2010. "Excessive Volatility in Capital Flows: A Pigouvian Taxation Approach," NBER Working Papers 15927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nicolas E. Magud E. & Carmen M. & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality--A Portfolio Balance Approach," Working Paper Series WP11-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  4. Jonathan David Ostry & Mahvash Saeed Qureshi & Karl Friedrich Habermeier & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt & Marcos Chamon & Atish R. Ghosh, 2010. "Capital Inflows: The Role of Controls," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Kosuke Aoki & Gianluca Benigno & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, 2010. "Adjusting to Capital Account Liberalization," CEP Discussion Papers dp1014, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-65, December.
  7. Alberto Martin & Filippo Taddei, 2012. "International Capital Flows and Credit Market Imperfections: a Tale of Two Frictions," Working Papers 518, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2012. "Capital controls or exchange rate policy? A pecuniary externality perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51505, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Zheng Liu & Mark M. Spiegel, 2013. "Monetary policy regimes and capital account restrictions in a small open economy," Working Paper Series 2013-33, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Eden, Maya & Nguyen, Ha, 2012. "Correcting real exchange rate misalignment : conceptual and practical issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6045, The World Bank.
  4. Forbes, Kristin & Fratzscher, Marcel & Kostka, Thomas & Straub, Roland, 2012. "Bubble thy neighbor: portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls," Working Paper Series 1456, European Central Bank.
  5. Gianluca Benigno & Luca Fornaro, 2014. "The Financial Resource Curse," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(1), pages 58-86, 01.
  6. Forbes, Kristin J. & Fratzscher, Marcel & Kostka, Thomas & Straub, Roland, 2012. "Bubble thy neighbor: portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov, pages 1-48.
  7. Davis, Scott & Presno, Ignacio, 2014. "Capital controls as an instrument of monetary policy," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 171, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "Prudential Policy for Peggers," CEPR Discussion Papers 8961, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. James P. Gander, 2013. "A Simple Dynamic-Control Macro Model to Examine the Behavior of International Reserves for Selected Economies," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2013_11, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
  10. Kristin Forbes & Marcel Fratzscher & Roland Straub, 2013. "Capital Controls and Macroprudential Measures: What Are They Good For?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1343, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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