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Capital Flows, Real Exchange Rates, and Capital Controls: Some Latin American Experiences

In: Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies

  • Sebastian Edwards

This paper deals with some of the most important aspects of Latin America's experience with capital flows during the last twenty-five years. The paper begins with a historical analysis. I then deal with the sequencing of reform and discuss issues related to the relationship between capital flows, real exchange rates, and international competitiveness. I next concentrate on the role of capital controls as a device for isolating emerging economies from the volatility of international capital markets. I begin by reviewing the policy issues and the current debate on the subject. I then present an empirical analysis of Chile's recent experiences with capital controls and make some comparisons to the recent experiences of Columbia. The analysis of the Chilean experience is particularly important since its practice of imposing reserves requirements on capital inflows has been praised by a number of analysts, including senior staff of the multilateral institutions, as an effective and efficient way of reducing the vulnerability associated with capital flows volatility. The results obtained suggest that capital controls in Chile have had mixed results: while they have allowed the Central Bank to have a greater degree of control over short term interest rates, they have failed in avoiding real exchange rate appreciation. The paper ends with some reflections, based on recent Latin American historical episodes, on the role of banks in intermediating capital inflows and on financial crises.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Sebastian Edwards, 2000. "Capital Flows and the Emerging Economies: Theory, Evidence, and Controversies," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa00-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6169.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6169
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Calvo, Sara & Reinhart, Carmen, 1996. "Capital flows to Latin America : Is there evidence of contagion effects?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1619, The World Bank.
    2. Michael P. Dooley, 1997. "A Model of Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Working Papers 6300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "“Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," MPRA Paper 7125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Michael P. Dooley, 1995. "A Survey of Academic Literature on Controls over International Capital Transactions," NBER Working Papers 5352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Reisen, Helmut & Yeches, Helene, 1993. "Time-varying estimates on the openness of the capital account in Korea and Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 285-305, August.
    6. Kevin Cowan & Jose De Gregorio, 1996. "Exchange rate policies and capital account management: Chile in the 1990s," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 465-488.
    7. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1991. "The Perils of Sterilization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 921-926, December.
    8. Dooley, Michael P, 1996. "Capital Controls and Emerging Markets," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(3), pages 197-205, July.
    9. Rudger Dornbusch & Ilan Goldfajn & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 1995. "Currency Crises and Collapses," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 219-294.
    10. Carlos BudnevichA & Guillermo Le Fort, 1997. "Capital Account Regulations and Macroeconomic Policy: Two Latin American Experiences," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 06, Central Bank of Chile.
    11. Rudiger Dornbusch & Alejandro Werner, 1994. "Mexico: Stabilization, Reform, and No Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 253-316.
    12. Montiel, Peter J, 1994. "Capital Mobility in Developing Countries: Some Measurement Issues and Empirical Estimates," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 311-50, September.
    13. Rudiger Dornbusch & Thomas S. Johnson & Anne O. Krueger, 1988. "Our LDC Debts," NBER Chapters, in: The United States in the World Economy, pages 161-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
    15. Edwards, Sebastian, 1996. "Why are Latin America's savings rates so low? An international comparative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 5-44, October.
    16. McKinnon, Ronald I., 1982. "The order of economic liberalization: Lessons from Chile and Argentina," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 159-186, January.
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