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A Theory of Capital Controls as Dynamic Terms-of-Trade Manipulation

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  • Arnaud Costinot
  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Iván Werning

Abstract

We develop a theory of capital controls as dynamic terms-of-trade manipulation. We study an infinite-horizon endowment economy with two countries. One country chooses taxes on international capital flows in order to maximize the welfare of its representative agent, while the other country is passive. We show that a country growing faster than the rest of the world has incentives to promote domestic savings by taxing capital inflows or subsidizing capital outflows. Although our theory of capital controls emphasizes interest rate manipulation, the pattern of borrowing and lending, per se, is irrelevant.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/674425
    DOI: 10.1086/674425
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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