IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

International Capital Flows in the Model with Limited Commitment and Incomplete Markets


  • Jürgen von Hagen


  • Haiping Zhang



Recent literature has proposed two alternative types of financial frictions, i.e., limited commitment and incomplete markets, to explain the empirical patterns of international capital flows between developed and developing countries in the past two decades. This paper integrates these two frictions into a two-country overlapping-generations framework to facilitate a direct comparison of their respective effects. In our model, limited commitment distorts the investment made by agents with different productivity, which creates a wedge between the interest rates on equity capital vs. credit capital; while incomplete markets distort the investment among projects with different riskiness, which creates a wedge between the risk-free rate and the mean rate of return to risky capital. We show that the two approaches are observationally equivalent with respect to their implications for international capital flows, production efficiency, and aggregate output. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Jürgen von Hagen & Haiping Zhang, 2014. "International Capital Flows in the Model with Limited Commitment and Incomplete Markets," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 195-224, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:25:y:2014:i:1:p:195-224
    DOI: 10.1007/s11079-013-9303-7

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angeletos, George-Marios & Panousi, Vasia, 2011. "Financial integration, entrepreneurial risk and global dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 863-896, May.
    2. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2010. "Financial globalization, financial crises and contagion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 24-39, January.
    3. Pol Antràs & Ricardo J. Caballero, 2009. "Trade and Capital Flows: A Financial Frictions Perspective," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 701-744, August.
    4. Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 1990. " Disentangling the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion from the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: An Irrelevance Result," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 175-190, March.
    5. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2010. "International capital flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 157-175, March.
    6. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 263-294, December.
    7. Ricardo Hausmann & Federico Sturzenegger, 2007. "The missing dark matter in the wealth of nations and its implications for global imbalances," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 469-518, July.
    8. Juergen von Hagen & Haiping Zhang, 2010. "Financial Development and the Patterns of International Capital Flows," Working Papers 02-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    9. Pol Antràs & Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley, 2009. "Multinational Firms, FDI Flows, and Imperfect Capital Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1171-1219.
    10. von Hagen, Jürgen & Zhang, Haiping, 2014. "Financial development, international capital flows, and aggregate output," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 66-77.
    11. Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "Domestic Institutions and the Bypass Effect of Financial Globalization," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 173-204, November.
    12. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2004. "Financial Market Globalization, Symmetry-Breaking, and Endogenous Inequality of Nations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 853-884, May.
    13. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    14. Urban Jermann & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2012. "Erratum: Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1186-1186, April.
    15. Kosuke Aoki & Gianluca Benigno & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, 2009. "Capital Flows and Asset Prices," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 175-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Juergen von Hagen & Haiping zhang, 2010. "International Capital Flows and Aggregate Output," Working Papers 10-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    17. Urban Jermann & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2012. "Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 238-271, February.
    18. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2011. "Growing Like China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 196-233, February.
    19. George-Marios Angeletos & Vasia Panousi, 2011. "Financial Integration, Entrepreneurial Risk and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 16761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Matthew Higgins & Thomas Klitgaard & Cédric Tille, 2006. "Borrowing without debt? Understanding the U.S. international investment position," Staff Reports 271, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    21. George-Marios Angeletos, 2007. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Aggregate Saving," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 1-30, January.
    22. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2008. "International Capital Flows under Dispersed Information: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Financial development; Financial frictions; Foreign direct investment; Incomplete markets; Limited commitment; International capital flows; E44; F41;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:25:y:2014:i:1:p:195-224. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.