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India's Experience with Capital Flows: The Elusive Quest for a Sustainable Current Account Deficit

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

  • Ajay Shah
  • Ila Patnaik

From the early 1990s onwards, India has engaged in policies involving trade liberalisation, strong controls on debt flows, and encouragement for portfolio flows and FDI, under a pegged exchange rate regime. Domestic institutional factors have led to relatively little FDI and substantial portfolio flows. There has been significant tension between capital flows and the currency regime. Many tactical details of the intricate reforms to the capital controls derive from the interlocking relationships between monetary policy, the currency regime and capital flows. In the recent period, pegging has given a capital outflow through reserves accumulation which was larger than the substantial net private capital inflows. In March 2004, difficulties of pegging appear to have led to a near-tripling of the nominal rupee-dollar returns volatility, which has reduced outward capital flows. The goal of the early 1990s - of finding a consistent way to augment investment using current account deficits - has remained elusive.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa06-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0162.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0162
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    1. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2004. "Serial default and the “paradox” of rich to poor capital flows," MPRA Paper 13997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Chudozie Okongwu, 1995. "Liberalized portfolio capital inflows in emerging markets: sterilization, expectations and the incompleteness of interest rate convergence," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 95-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1994. "Yen Bloc or Dollar Bloc? Exchange Rate Policies of the East Asian Economies," NBER Chapters, in: Macroeconomic Linkage: Savings, Exchange Rates, and Capital Flows, NBER-EASE Volume 3, pages 295-333 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Jacques Miniane, 2004. "A New Set of Measures on Capital Account Restrictions," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(2), pages 4.
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    9. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2002. "Fear of floating," MPRA Paper 14000, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Ricardo Hausmann & Eduardo Fernández-Arias, 2000. "Foreign Direct Investment: Good Cholesterol?," Research Department Publications 4203, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    11. Ila Patnaik, 2003. "India's policy stance on reserves and the currency," Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers 108, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India.
    12. Vijay Joshi, 2003. "India and the Impossible Trinity," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 555-583, 04.
    13. Eduardo Fernández-Arias & Ricardo Hausmann, 2000. "Is FDI a Safer Form of Financing?," Research Department Publications 4201, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Poonam Gupta & James P. F. Gordon, 2003. "Portfolio Flows Into India; Do Domestic Fundamentals Matter?," IMF Working Papers 03/20, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Poonam Gupta & James P. F. Gordon, 2004. "Nonresident Deposits in India; In Search of Return?," IMF Working Papers 04/48, International Monetary Fund.
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