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The illusive quest: Do international capital controls contribute to currency stability?

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  • Glick, Reuven
  • Hutchison, Michael

Abstract

We investigate the effectiveness of capital controls in insulating economies from currency crises, focusing in particular on both direct and indirect effects of capital controls and how these relationships may have changed over time in response to global financial liberalization and the greater mobility of international capital. We predict the likelihood of currency crises using standard macroeconomic variables and a probit equation estimation methodology with random effects. We employ a comprehensive panel data set comprised of 69 emerging market and developing economies over 1975-2004. Both standard and duration-adjusted measures of capital control intensity (allowing controls to "depreciate" over time) suggest that capital controls have not effectively insulated economies from currency crises at any time during our sample period. Maintaining real GDP growth and limiting real overvaluation are critical factors preventing currency crises, not capital controls. However, the presence of capital controls greatly increases the sensitivity of currency crises to changes in real GDP growth and real exchange rate overvaluation, making countries more vulnerable to changes in fundamentals. Our model suggests that emerging markets weathered the 2007-2008 crisis relatively well because of strong output growth and exchange rate flexibility that limited overvaluation of their currencies.

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  • Glick, Reuven & Hutchison, Michael, 2011. "The illusive quest: Do international capital controls contribute to currency stability?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 59-70, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:59-70
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    3. Akram, Gilal Muhammad & Byrne, Joseph P., 2015. "Foreign exchange market pressure and capital controls," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 42-53.
    4. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2015. "L’intégration financière internationale : Théories, évidences, et leçons des expériences récentes [International financial integration: Theory, evidence and lessons from recent experiences]," Research papers & Policy papers 1508, Policy Center for the New South.
    5. Chen, Shikuan & Chang, Ming-Jen, 2015. "Capital control and exchange rate volatility," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 167-177.
    6. Mohammad Karimi & Marcel-Cristian Voia, 2014. "Currency Crises, Exchange Rate Regimes and Capital Account Liberalization: A Duration Analysis Approach," Dynamic Modeling and Econometrics in Economics and Finance, in: Frauke Schleer-van Gellecom (ed.), Advances in Non-linear Economic Modeling, edition 127, pages 233-262, Springer.
    7. Mulder, Christian & Perrelli, Roberto & Rocha, Manuel Duarte, 2012. "External vulnerability, balance sheet effects, and the institutional framework — Lessons from the Asian crisis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 16-28.
    8. Ghosh, Amit, 2014. "A comparison of exchange rate regime choice in emerging markets with advanced and low income nations for 1999–2011," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 358-370.

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