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

Author

Listed:
  • 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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
    2. Aoki, Kosuke & Benigno, Gianluca & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 2010. "Adjusting to Capital Account Liberalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 8087, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Karl F Habermeier & Marcos Chamon & Mahvash S Qureshi & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt, 2010. "Capital Inflows; The Role of Controls," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld & Jay C. Shambaugh & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Financial Stability, the Trilemma, and International Reserves," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 57-94, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Olivier Jeanne & Anton Korinek, 2010. "Excessive Volatility in Capital Flows: A Pigouvian Taxation Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 403-407, May.
    9. Itoh, Motoshige & Kiyono, Kazuharu, 1987. "Welfare-Enhancing Export Subsidies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 115-137, February.
    10. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-2065, December.
    11. Constantinos Syropoulos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 707-727.
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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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