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The Myth of Financial Protectionism: The New (and old) Economics of Capital Controls

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  • Kevin Gallagher
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    Abstract

    Unstable global capital flows to developing countries have been characteristic of the world economy in the wake of the global financial crisis. The nations that have deployed capital controls to mitigate the negative effects of such flows have been branded as “protectionist” by some. This paper argues that such claims are unfounded. There is a longstanding strand of modern economic theory that dates back to Keynes and Prebisch and continues to this day that sees the use of capital controls as essential for macroeconomic stability and in order to deploy an independent monetary policy. In a most recent development, a “new welfare economics” of capital controls has arisen within the mainstream that sees controls as measures to correct for market failures due to imperfect information, contagion, uncertainty and beyond. Taken as a whole then, rather than the “new protectionism,” capital controls could be seen as the “new correctionism” that re-justifies a tool that has long been recognized to promote stability and growth in developing countries.

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    Paper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp278.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp278

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    1. Schulze,Gunther G., 2000. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521582223.
    2. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar & Taylor, Ashley D., 2009. "Thresholds in the Process of International Financial Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 4133, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2006. "What matters for financial development? Capital controls, institutions, and interactions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 163-192, October.
    4. Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2005. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-19, University of Oregon Economics Department.
      • Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2007. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 645-674 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Maurice Obstfeld., 2001. "International Macroeconomics: Beyond the Mundell-Fleming Model," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C01-121, University of California at Berkeley.
    6. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Donghyun Park, 2013. "Capital Flows and Economic Growth in the Era of Financial Integration and Crisis, 1990–2010," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 371-396, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Philip Arestis, 2002. "Financial crisis in Southeast Asia: dispelling illusion the Minskyan way," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 237-260, March.
    9. Esteban Pérez Caldentey & Matías Vernengo, 2011. "Portrait of the Economist as a Young Man: Raúl Prebisch’s evolving views on the business cycle and money, 1919-1949," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2011_13, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    10. Stiglitz, Joseph & Ocampo, Jose Antonio & Spiegel, Shari & Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo & Nayyar, Deepak, 2006. "Stability with Growth: Macroeconomics, Liberalization and Development," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199288144, September.
    11. Ilene Grabel, 2003. "Averting crisis? Assessing measures to manage financial integration in emerging economies," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 317-336, May.
    12. Weller, Christian E., 1999. "Financial crises after financial liberalization: Exceptional circumstances or structural weakness?," ZEI Working Papers B 15-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
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    Cited by:
    1. Raouf Boucekkine & Aude Pommeret & Fabien Prieur, 2012. "On the timing and optimality of capital controls: Public expenditures, debt dynamics and welfare," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 12.01, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
    2. Kristina Spantig, 2012. "International monetary policy spillovers in an asymmetric world monetary system - The United States and China," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-33, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

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