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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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  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. Leonor Keller & Ibrahim Chowdhury, 2012. "Managing Large-Scale Capital Inflows," IMF Working Papers 12/138, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Eduardo Cavallo & Sebastian Galiani & Ilan Noy & Juan Pantano, 2013. "Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1549-1561, December.
  4. Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," Santa Cruz Center for International Economics, Working Paper Series, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz qt5pv1j341, Center for International Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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  9. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
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  12. Mahir Binici & Michael M. Hutchison & Martin Schindler, 2009. "Controlling Capital? Legal Restrictions and the Asset Composition of International Financial Flows," IMF Working Papers 09/208, International Monetary Fund.
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  14. Straetmans, Stefan T.M. & Versteeg, Roald J. & Wolff, Christian C.P., 2013. "Are capital controls in the foreign exchange market effective?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 36-53.
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  16. Nicolas E. Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality - A Portfolio Balance Approach," NBER Working Papers 16805, 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.
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  21. 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.
  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.
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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. Olivier J. Blanchard & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Paolo Mauro, 2013. "Rethinking Macro Policy II," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 13/003, International Monetary Fund.
  3. 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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