Stopping hot money
While high interest rates and foreign exchange sales are the most common way of dealing with a speculative attack in the foreign exchange market, several countries resorted to capital controls during recent periods of currency market turbulence. The purpose of this study is to use daily financial data to examine four of these capital controls episodes--Brazil, 1999, Malaysia 1998, Spain 1992, and Thailand 1997. We aim to assess the extent to which the capital controls were effective in delivering the outcomes that motivated their inception in the first place. We conclude that in two of the three cases (Brazil and Thailand), the controls did not deliver much of what was intended--although, one does not observe the counterfactual. By contrast, in the case of Malaysia the controls did align closely with the priors of what controls are intended to achieve: greater interest rate and exchange rate stability and more policy autonomy.
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