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The non-neutrality of inflation for international capital movements

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  • Sinn, Hans-Werner

Abstract

This paper studies the question of how unilateral changes in the rate of inflation affect the international allocation of capital. Presenting a model that incorporates a transaction motive for money holding and capital income taxation with historical cost accounting, it counters the view that inflation will be neutral in a world of perfect foresight and costless arbitrage: under mild conditions, domestic inflation will unambiguously induce a capital export. The paper includes a discussion of the Fisher effect. The empirical observation of a less than one-to-one translation of inflation into nominal interest rates is shown to be compatible with the model, and in fact the capital export turns out to be stronger the lower the degree of translation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The non-neutrality of inflation for international capital movements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:35:y:1991:i:1:p:1-22
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    1. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation, Income Taxes, and the Rate of Interest: A Theoretical Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 28-43 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Martin Feldstein & Jerry Green & Eytan Sheshinski, 1983. "Inflation and Taxes in a Growing Economy with Debt and Equity Finance," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 44-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fried, Joel & Howitt, Peter, 1983. "The Effects of Inflation on Real Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 968-980, December.
    4. Robin Boadway & Neil Bruce & Jack Mintz, 1984. "Taxation, Inflation, and the Effective Marginal Tax Rate on Capital in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 62-79, February.
    5. Hartman, David G, 1979. "Taxation and the Effects of Inflation on the Real Capital Stock in an Open Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 417-425, June.
    6. Darby, Michael R, 1975. "The Financial and Tax Effects of Monetary Policy on Interest Rates," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(2), pages 266-276, June.
    7. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    8. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-275, May.
    9. Hansson, Ingemar & Stuart, Charles, 1986. "The Fisher Hypothesis and International Capital Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1330-1337, December.
    10. Auerbach, Alan J, 1979. "Inflation and the Choice of Asset Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 621-638, June.
    11. Robert Mundell, 1963. "Inflation and Real Interest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 280-280.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tamim Bayoumi & Joseph E. Gagnon, 1992. "Taxation and inflation: a new explanation for current account imbalances," International Finance Discussion Papers 420, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Mihir A. Desai & James R. Hines, Jr., 1999. "Excess Capital Flows and the Burden of Inflation in Open Economies," NBER Chapters,in: The Costs and Benefits of Price Stability, pages 235-272 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bayoumi, Tamim & Gagnon, Joseph, 1996. "Taxation and inflation: A new explanation for capital flows," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 303-330, October.
    4. Patrick Honohan, 1994. "The Fiscal Approach to Financial Intermediation Policy," Papers WP049, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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