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Capital Controls in Brazil: Stemming a Tide with a Signal?

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  • Jinjarak, Y
  • Noy, I
  • Zheng, H

Abstract

Controls on capital inflows have been experiencing a period akin to a renaissance since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008, with several prominent countries choosing to impose controls; e.g., Thailand, Korea, Peru, Indonesia, and Brazil. We focus on the case of Brazil, a country that instituted five changes in its capital account regime in 2008-2011, and ask what the impacts of these policy changes were. Using the Abadie et al. (2010) synthetic control methodology, we construct counterfactuals (i.e., Brazil with no capital account policy change) for each policy change event. We find no evidence that any tightening of controls was effective in reducing the magnitudes of capital inflows, but we observe some modest and short-lived success in preventing further declines in inflows when the capital controls are relaxed as was done in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman bankruptcy in 2008 and in January 2011 by the newly inaugurated government of Dilma Rousseff. We hypothesize that price-based capital controls’ only perceptible effect are to be found in the content of the signal they broadcast regarding the government’s larger intentions and sensibilities. Brazil’s left-of-center government was widely perceived as ambivalent to markets. An imposition of controls was not perceived as ‘news’ and thus had no impact. A willingness to remove controls was perceived, however, as a noteworthy indication that the government was not as hostile to the international financial markets as many expected it to be.

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File URL: http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/2391
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Paper Series with number 2391.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:2391

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Postal: Alice Fong, Administrator, School of Economics and Finance, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (4) 463-5353
Fax: +64 (4) 463-5014
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Web page: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sef
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Keywords: Capital controls; Brazil; Economic policy;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Joseph P Joyce & Ilan Noy, 2005. "The IMF and the Liberalization of Capital Flows," Economics Study Area Working Papers 84, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  3. Jonathan D Ostry & Atish R Ghosh & Marcos Chamon & Mahvash S Qureshi, 2011. "Capital Controls: When and Why?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 59(3), pages 562-580, August.
  4. Tommaso Nannicini & Andreas Billmeier, 2011. "Economies in Transition: How Important Is Trade Openness for Growth?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 73(3), pages 287-314, 06.
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  12. Sebastian Edwards, 2012. "The Federal Reserve, the Emerging Markets, and Capital Controls: A High‐Frequency Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 151-184, December.
  13. Sebastian Edwards, 2012. "The Federal Reserve, Emerging Markets, and Capital Controls: A High Frequency Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 18557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Michael W. Klein, 2012. "Capital Controls: Gates versus Walls," NBER Working Papers 18526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ostry, Jonathan D. & Ghosh, Atish R. & Chamon, Marcos & Qureshi, Mahvash S., 2012. "Tools for managing financial-stability risks from capital inflows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 407-421.
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  22. Peter Hinrichs, 2012. "The Effects of Affirmative Action Bans on College Enrollment, Educational Attainment, and the Demographic Composition of Universities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 712-722, August.
  23. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Huanhuan Zheng & Qingyong Zhang, 2013. "Property Tax in China: Is It Effective in Curbing Housing Price?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2465-2474.
  2. Forbes, Kristin & Fratzscher, Marcel & Straub, Roland, 2014. "Capital Controls and Macroprudential Measures: What Are They Good For?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9798, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Olivier J. Blanchard & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Paolo Mauro, 2013. "Rethinking Macro Policy II," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 13/003, International Monetary Fund.

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