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Liberalization and Regulation of Capital Flows: Lessons for Emerging Market Economies

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  • Mohan, Rakesh

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Kapur, Muneesh

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

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    Abstract

    Capital flows to emerging market economies (EMEs) have been characterized by high volatility since the 1980s. In recent years (especially since 2003), although gross as well as net capital flows to the EMEs have increased, they could not be absorbed domestically. Overall, savings have flowed uphill from EMEs to advanced economies, challenging the conventional view that capital flows to EMEs are always beneficial through augmentation of their resources leading to greater investment. Full capital account liberalization can impart avoidable volatility and have an adverse impact on growth prospects of EMEs. Available evidence is strongly in favor of a calibrated and well-sequenced approach to opening up the capital account and its active management, along with complementary reforms in other sectors. Greater caution is needed in the liberalization of debt flows. Despite much advice to the contrary, most EMEs manage their capital accounts actively to cushion their economies from undue volatility, including interventions in the foreign exchange markets accompanied by sterilization. Sound macroeconomic and financial policies-accompanied by prudent capital account management, greater exchange rate flexibility, purposive use of prudential regulation, and continued financial market development practiced by most Asian EMEs over the past decade-have cushioned their economies from the current global financial crisis that started in 2007. They have successfully achieved a virtuous circle of continuing growth, low and stable inflation, and financial stability. How these elements can be best combined will depend on the country and on the period: There is no "one size fits all." Such a discretionary approach does put a great premium on the skill of policymakers and can run the risk of markets perceiving central bank actions becoming uncomfortably unpredictable. Such risk is mitigated by a record of successful management.

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    File URL: http://www.adbi.org/working-paper/2010/01/14/3434.liberalization.regulation.capital.flows/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Asian Development Bank Institute in its series ADBI Working Papers with number 186.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: 14 Jan 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0186

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    Keywords: capital flows emerging markets; liberalization regulation capital flows; emerging markets capital account management; capital flows; emerging market economies;

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    1. Richard N. Cooper, 1999. "Should Capital Controls be Banished?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(1), pages 89-142.
    2. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2006. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 12484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Peter Blair Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(4), pages 887-935, December.
    4. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar S. Prasad & Ashley D. Taylor, 2009. "Thresholds in the Process of International Financial Integration," NBER Working Papers 14916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Ranciere, Romain & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 2009. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Productivity Growth: The Role of Financial Development," Scholarly Articles 12490419, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," CEMA Working Papers 595, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    7. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian, 2009. "Why Did Financial Globalization Disappoint?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 112-138, April.
    8. Selim Elekdag & M. Ayhan Kose & Roberto Cardarelli, 2009. "Capital Inflows," IMF Working Papers 09/40, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Eswar Prasad & Marco Terrones & M. Ayhan Kose, 2008. "Does Openness to International Financial Flows Raise Productivity Growth?," IMF Working Papers 08/242, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Peter Henry, 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Discussion Papers 07-004, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    11. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Baccheta & Romain Ranciere & Kenneth Rogoff, 2006. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Productivity Growth: The Role of Financial Development," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 06-16, Swiss Finance Institute.
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