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Flight capital as a portfolio choice

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  • Collier, Paul
  • Hoeffler, Anke
  • Pattillo, Catherine

Abstract

The authors examine flight capital in the context of portfolio choice. They estimate the stock of flight capital held abroad and compare it with the stock of real (nonfinancial) capital held within each country. For 51 countries they construct estimates (as of 1990) of private domestic capital and flight capital - which combined add up to domestic wealth. There are large regional differences in the proportion of private wealth that is held abroad, ranging from 3 percent in South Asia to 39 percent in Africa. They explain differences in portfolio choice in terms of the capital to labor ratio, indebtedness, exchange rate distortions, and risk ratings - all proxies for differences in the risk-adjusted rate of return on capital. They then apply the results to four policy questions in which private portfolio choices are potentially important: the effect of the East Asian crisis on domestic capital outflows; spillovers; the effect of HIPC debt relief on capital repatriation; and why Africa has so much of its private wealth outside the continent. Their conclusions: 1) The four most severely affected East Asian countries will eventually lose about $250 billion in domestic wealth as a result of the deterioration in risk between March 1997 and September 1998. 2) They found some support for a spillover model. 3) The effect of the HIPC debt relief initiative on capital repatriation will vary massively between HIPC-eligible countries. 4) Africa has by far the lowest capital per worker, which makes massive capital flight from Africa all the more distinctive. Three variables explain capital flight in Africa: exchange rate overvaluation, adverse investor risk ratings, and high indebtedness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2066.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2066

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Keywords: Capital Markets and Capital Flows; Economic Theory&Research; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Fiscal&Monetary Policy; Banks&Banking Reform; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Banks&Banking Reform; Settlement of Investment Disputes; Banking Law; Economic Theory&Research;

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References

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  1. Nathan Sheets, 1995. "Capital flight from the countries in transition: some theory and empirical evidence," International Finance Discussion Papers 514, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Eaton, Jonathan, 1987. "Public Debt Guarantees and Private Capital Flight," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(3), pages 377-95, May.
  3. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "External Debt, Capital Flight and Political Risk," Scholarly Articles 4553019, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Simeon Inidayo Ajayi, 1997. "An Analysis of External Debt and Capital Flight in the Severely Indebted Low Income Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 97/68, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Claessens, Stijn & Naude, David, 1993. "Recent estimates of capital flight," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1186, The World Bank.
  6. Michael P. Dooley & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Capital flight, external debt, and domestic policies," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 29-37.
  7. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1989. "Optimal Incentives to Domestic Investment in the Presence of Capital Flight," NBER Working Papers 3080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross & DEC, 1994. "Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1285, The World Bank.
  9. Lisa M. Schineller, 1997. "An econometric model of capital flight from developing countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 579, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Michael P. Dooley, 1988. "Capital Flight: A Response to Differences in Financial Risks," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(3), pages 422-436, September.
  11. Boyce, James K., 1992. "The revolving door? External debt and capital flight: A Philippine case study," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 335-349, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beja Jr, Edsel, 2010. "Balance of Payments-consistent unreported flows," MPRA Paper 21699, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ian Goldin & Kenneth Reinert, 2005. "Global capital flows and development: A Survey," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 453-481.
  3. Léonce Ndikumana, 2003. "Capital Flows, Capital Account Regimes, and Foreign Exchange Rate Regimes in Africa," Working Papers wp55, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  4. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Plaza, Sonia, 2008. "Beyond aid : new sources and innovative mechanisms for financing development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4609, The World Bank.
  5. Marcella Mulino, 2002. "On the determinants of capital flight from Russia," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 30(2), pages 148-169, June.
  6. Ndikumana, Leonce & Boyce, James K., 2003. "Public Debts and Private Assets: Explaining Capital Flight from Sub-Saharan African Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 107-130, January.
  7. Dercon, Stefan, 2007. "Globalization and Marginalization in Africa: Poverty, Risk, and Vulnerability in Rural Ethiopia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Hansen, Bodil Olai & Keiding, Hans, 2006. "Financial Intermediation, Moral Hazard, And Pareto Inferior Trade," Working Papers 07-2004, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  9. Alemayehu Geda, 2006. "Openness, Inequality and Poverty in Africa," Working Papers 25, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  10. Zhang, Xiaobo, 2004. "Security is like oxygen," DSGD discussion papers 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Andrew Powell & Dilip Ratha & Sanket Mohapatra, 2002. "Capital Inflows and Capital Outflows: Measurement, Determinants, Consequences," Business School Working Papers veinticinco, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  12. Christopher J. Green & Victor Murinde, 2003. "Flow of funds: implications for research on financial sector development and the real economy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(8), pages 1015-1036.
  13. Gunter, Frank R., 2004. "Capital flight from China: 1984-2001," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 63-85, January.
  14. de la Torre, Augusto & Gozzi, Juan Carlos & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2007. "Stock market development under globalization: Whither the gains from reforms?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1731-1754, June.
  15. Bodil O. Hansen & Hans Keiding, 2004. "Financial Intermediation, Moral Hazard, And Pareto Inferior Trade," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 5(2), pages 189-219.
  16. Léonce Ndikumana, 2001. "Financial Markets and Economic Development in Africa," Working Papers wp17, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  17. Pasricha, Gurnain Kaur, 2008. "Imperfect Competition in Financial Markets and Capital Controls: A Model and a Test," MPRA Paper 12125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Maswana, Jean-Claude, 2006. "Economic Development Patterns and Outcomes in Africa and Asia," MPRA Paper 5551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Zhang, Xiaobo, 2004. "Security Is Like Oxygen: Evidence From Uganda," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20384, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  20. Easterly, William, 2002. "How Did Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Become Heavily Indebted? Reviewing Two Decades of Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 1677-1696, October.

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