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Capital Controls: An Evaluation

In: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences


  • Nicolas Magud
  • Carmen M. Reinhart


The literature on capital controls has (at least) four very serious apples-to-oranges problems: (i) There is not unified theoretical framework to analyze the macroeconomic consequences of controls; (ii) there is significant heterogeneity across countries and time in the control measures implemented; (iii) there are multiple definitions of what constitutes a “success” and (iv) the empirical studies lack a common methodology – furthermore these are significantly “overweighted” by a couple of country cases (Chile and Malaysia). In this paper, we attempt to address some of these shortcomings by: being very explicit about what measures are construed as capital controls. Also, given that success is measured so differently across studies, we sought to “standardize” the results of over 30 empirical studies we summarize in this paper. The standardization was done by constructing two indices of capital controls: Capital Controls Effectiveness Index (CCE Index), and Weighted Capital Control Effectiveness Index (WCCE Index). The difference between them lies only in that the WCCE controls for the differentiated degree of methodological rigor applied to draw conclusions in each of the considered papers. Inasmuch as possible, we bring to bear the experiences of less well known episodes than those of Chile and Malaysia.
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  • Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2007. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters,in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 645-674 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0157

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ethan Kaplan & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Did the Malaysian Capital Controls Work?," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 393-440 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chanda, Areendam, 2005. "The influence of capital controls on long run growth: Where and how much?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 441-466, August.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
    5. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Capital Inflows Problem: Concepts And Issues," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 54-66, July.
    6. Carmen M. Reinhart & R. Todd Smith, 1996. "Too much of a good thing: the macroeconomic effects of taxing capital inflows," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 436-464.
    7. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 4(3-4), pages 153-159, Jul/Oct.
    8. Sebastian Edwards & Roberto Rigobon, 2005. "Capital Controls, Exchange Rate Volatility and External Vulnerability," NBER Working Papers 11434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Edison, Hali & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2001. "Stopping hot money," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 533-553, December.
    10. Eliana Cardoso & Ilan Goldfajn, 1998. "Capital Flows to Brazil: The Endogeneity of Capital Controls," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 161-202, March.
    11. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "Malaysia: Was it Different?," NBER Working Papers 8325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Natalia T. Tamirisa & R. B. Johnston, 1998. "Why Do Countries Use Capital Controls?," IMF Working Papers 98/181, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Montiel, Peter & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1999. "Do capital controls and macroeconomic policies influence the volume and composition of capital flows? Evidence from the 1990s," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 619-635, August.
    14. De Gregorio, Jose & Edwards, Sebastian & Valdes, Rodrigo O., 2000. "Controls on capital inflows: do they work?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 59-83, October.
    15. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Smith, R. Todd, 2002. "Temporary controls on capital inflows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 327-351, August.
    16. Forbes, Kristin J., 2007. "One cost of the Chilean capital controls: Increased financial constraints for smaller traded firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 294-323, April.
    17. Isriya Nitithanprapas & Sunil Rongala & Thomas D. Willett, 2002. "The Role of Capital Controls and Currency Regimes in the Asian Crisis," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-21, Claremont Colleges.
    18. Akira Ariyoshi & Andrei A Kirilenko & Inci Ötker & Bernard J Laurens & Jorge I Canales Kriljenko & Karl F Habermeier, 2000. "Capital Controls; Country Experiences with Their Use and Liberalization," IMF Occasional Papers 190, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Jacques Miniane & John H. Rogers, 2007. "Capital Controls and the International Transmission of U.S. Money Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1003-1035, August.
    20. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "How Effective Are Capital Controls?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 65-84, Fall.
    21. Francisco Gallego & Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 1999. "Capital Controls in Chile: Effective? Efficient?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 59, Central Bank of Chile.
    22. Bernard J Laurens & Jaime Cardoso, 1998. "Managing Capital Flows; Lessons From the Experience of Chile," IMF Working Papers 98/168, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Reinhart, Carmen & Reinhart, Vincent, 1998. "“Some Lessons for Policy Makers Who Deal with the Mixed Blessing of Capital Inflows,”," MPRA Paper 7123, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Natalia T. Tamirisa, 2004. "Do Macroeconomic Effects of Capital Controls Vary by their Type? Evidence From Malaysia," IMF Working Papers 04/3, International Monetary Fund.
    25. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2006. "Capital Controls, Liberalizations, and Foreign Direct Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 1433-1464.
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    JEL classification:

    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • 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


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