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Robbing the Riches: Capital Flight, Institutions and Debt

  • Valerie Cerra
  • Meenakshi Rishi
  • Sweta Saxena

Capital flight undermines economic growth and the effectiveness of debt relief and foreign aid, and sometimes drains more resources from poor countries than does debt service. In an analysis of a large panel of developing and emerging market countries using annual data for 1970-2001, we show that both institutions and macro policies robustly affect capital flight. Our study also supports the existence of a revolving door relationship between debt and capital flight. More notably we find countries with weak institutions have a greater propensity to accumulate debt because weak institutions spur capital flight, which, in turn, creates a financing need.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 44 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 1190-1213

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:44:y:2008:i:8:p:1190-1213
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  1. Michael P. Dooley & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Capital Flight, External Debt and Domestic Policies," NBER Working Papers 4793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Michael P. Dooley, 1988. "Capital Flight: A Response to Differences in Financial Risks," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(3), pages 422-436, September.
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