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On the Desirability of Capital Controls

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  • Jonathan Heathcote
  • Fabrizio Perri

Abstract

In a standard two-country international macro model, the paper asks whether imposing restrictions on international noncontingent borrowing and lending is ever desirable. The answer is yes. If one country imposes capital controls unilaterally, it can generate favorable changes in the dynamics of equilibrium interest rates and the terms of trade, and thereby benefit at the expense of its trading partner. If both countries simultaneously impose capital controls, the welfare effects are ambiguous. The paper identifies calibrations in which symmetric capital controls improve terms-of-trade insurance against country-specific shocks and thereby increase welfare for both countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2016. "On the Desirability of Capital Controls," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(1), pages 75-102, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:64:y:2016:i:1:p:75-102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin, Alberto & Taddei, Filippo, 2013. "International capital flows and credit market imperfections: A tale of two frictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 441-452.
    2. Benigno, Gianluca & Chen, Huigang & Otrok, Christopher & Rebucci, Alessandro & Young, Eric R., 2016. "Optimal capital controls and real exchange rate policies: A pecuniary externality perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 147-165.
    3. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2016. "A Theory of Macroprudential Policies in the Presence of Nominal Rigidities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1645-1704, September.
    4. Arnaud Costinot & Guido Lorenzoni & Iván Werning, 2014. "A Theory of Capital Controls as Dynamic Terms-of-Trade Manipulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(1), pages 77-128.
    5. Nicolas E. Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2018. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality--A Portfolio Balance Approach," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 19(1), pages 1-47, May.
    6. Brandt, Michael W. & Cochrane, John H. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2006. "International risk sharing is better than you think, or exchange rates are too smooth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 671-698, May.
    7. Bianca De Paoli & Anna Lipinska, 2012. "Capital controls: a normative analysis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov, pages 1-36.
    8. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
    9. Nicolas Magud & Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff, 2005. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality A Portfolio Balance Approach to Capital Controls," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2006-10, University of Oregon Economics Department.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On the desirability of capital controls
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2015-11-24 22:37:46

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Davis, J. Scott & Presno, Ignacio, 2017. "Capital controls and monetary policy autonomy in a small open economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 114-130.
    2. Shigeto Kitano & Kenya Takaku, 2019. "Gains from Policy Cooperation in Capital Controls and Financial Market Incompleteness," Discussion Paper Series DP2019-01, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    3. Valerio Nispi Landi & Alessandro Schiavone, 2021. "The Effectiveness of Capital Controls," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 183-211, February.
    4. Gurnain Kaur Pasricha, 2017. "Policy Rules for Capital Controls," BIS Working Papers 670, Bank for International Settlements.
    5. Beshkar, Mostafa & Shourideh, Ali, 2020. "Optimal trade policy with trade imbalances," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 65-82.
    6. McNelis, Paul D., 2016. "Optimal policy rules at home, crisis and quantitative easing abroad," BOFIT Discussion Papers 15/2016, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    7. Valerio Nispi Landi, 2017. "Capital controls, macroprudential measures and monetary policy interactions in an emerging economy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1154, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Andrzej Wojtyna, 2017. "Nowa faza dyskusji o kontroli międzynarodowych przepływów kapitału," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 6, pages 5-29.
    9. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Jia, Pengfei, 2020. "Capital controls and welfare with cross-border bank capital flows," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    10. J. Scott Davis & Michael B. Devereux, 2019. "Capital Controls as Macro-prudential Policy in a Large Open Economy," Globalization Institute Working Papers 358, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    11. Lorenzo Menna & Martin Tobal, 2018. "Financial and price stability in emerging markets: the role of the interest rate," BIS Working Papers 717, Bank for International Settlements.
    12. Nispi Landi, Valerio, 2020. "Capital controls spillovers," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    13. Shigeto Kitano & Kenya Takaku, 2020. "Financial Market Incompleteness and International Cooperation on Capital Controls," Discussion Paper Series DP2020-05, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

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