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Capital flows to developing countries: The allocation puzzle

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  • Gourinchas, PO
  • Jeanne, O

Abstract

The textbook neoclassical growth model predicts that countries with faster productivity growth should invest more and attract more foreign capital. We show that the allocation of capital flows across developing countries is the opposite of this prediction: capital does notflowmore to countries that invest and grow more.We call this puzzle the "allocation puzzle". Using a wedge analysis, we find that the pattern of capital flows is driven by national saving: the allocation puzzle is a saving puzzle. Further disaggregation of capital flows reveals that the allocation puzzle is also related to the pattern of accumulation of international reserves. The solution to the "allocation puzzle", thus, lies at the nexus between growth, saving, and international reserve accumulation.We conclude with a discussion of some possible avenues for research. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Gourinchas, PO & Jeanne, O, 2013. "Capital flows to developing countries: The allocation puzzle," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d17p49d, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt3d17p49d
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    Keywords

    Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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