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How Effective are Capital Controls?

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  • Sebastian Edwards

Abstract

In the aftermath of the East Asian crisis a number of authors have argued that capital mobility is highly destabilizing, and that emerging countries would benefit from restricting capital flows. In this paper I investigate, from a historical perspective, the effectiveness of capital controls. I deal with Tobin taxes, controls on outflows and controls on inflows. I argue that controls on outflows have seldom worked as expected. They introduce major distortions and breed corruption. Market-based controls on inflows - similar to those implemented by Chile - have the potential for lengthening the maturity of foreign debt. They are not very effective, however, in achieving other objectives, including a higher degree of monetary policy independence.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7413.

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Date of creation: Nov 1999
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 13, no. 4 (Fall 1999): 65-84.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7413

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  1. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kenneth Rogoff, 1999. "International Institutions for Reducing Global Financial Instability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 21-42, Fall.
  3. Montiel, Peter & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1999. "Do capital controls and macroeconomic policies influence the volume and composition of capital flows? Evidence from the 1990s," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 619-635, August.
  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. Alesina, Alberto F & Grilli, Vittorio & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," CEPR Discussion Papers 793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Marcelo Soto & Salvador Valdés, 1996. "¿Es el Control Selectivo de Capitales Efectivo en Chile? Su Efecto sobre el Tipo de Cambio Real," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 33(98), pages 77-108.
  7. Sebastian Edwards & Julio Santaella, 1993. "Devaluation Controversies in the Developing Countries: Lessons from the Bretton Woods Era," NBER Chapters, in: A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System: Lessons for International Monetary Reform, pages 405-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Montiel, Peter J, 1994. "Capital Mobility in Developing Countries: Some Measurement Issues and Empirical Estimates," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 311-50, September.
  9. Edwards, Sebastian & Edwards, Alejandra Cox, 1991. "Monetarism and Liberalization," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226184890, March.
  10. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Maurice Obstfeld, 1986. "International Finance," NBER Working Papers 2077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Edwards, Sebastian, 1989. "The macroeconomics of populism in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 316, The World Bank.
  13. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "Crisis Prevention: Lessons from Mexico and East Asia," NBER Working Papers 7233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 506, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "Interest Rate Volatily, Contagion and Convergence: And Empirical Investigation of the Cases of Argentina, Chile and México," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 55-86, November.
  16. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1989. "Macroeconomic Populism in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1993. "The Unstable EMS," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 51-144.
  18. Liliana Rojas-Suárez & Donald J. Mathieson & Michael P. Dooley, 1996. "Capital Mobility and Exchange Market Intervention in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 96/131, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Fischer, S. & Cooper, R.N. & Dornbusch, R. & Garber, P.M. & Massad, C. & Polak, J.J. & Rodrik, D. & Tarapore, S.S., 1998. "Should the IMF Pursue Capital-Account Convertibility?," Princeton Essays in International Economics 207, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  20. Salvador Valdés-Prieto & Marcelo Soto, 1998. "The Effectiveness of Capital Controls: Theory and Evidence from Chile," Empirica, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 133-164, January.
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  1. En defensa de los controles de capital
    by Eduardo Levy-Yeyati in Foco Económico on 2010-12-15 12:00:00
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