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The Political Economy of Capital Controls

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  • A Alesina
  • V Grilli
  • G Milesi-Feretti

Abstract

This paper studies the institutional and political determinants of capital controls in a sample of 20 OECD countries for the period 1950-1989. One of the most interesting results is that capital controls are more likely too be imposed by strong governments which have a relatively "free" hand over monetary policy, because the Central Bank is not very independent. By imposing capital controls, the governments raise more seigniorage revenue and keep interest rates artificially low. As a result, public debt accumulates at a slower rate than otherwise. This suggests that an institutional reform which makes the Central Bank more independent makes it more difficult for the government to finance its budget. The tightening of the fiscal constraint may force the government to adjust towards a more sound fiscal policy. We also found that, as expected and in accordance with the theory, capital controls are more likely to be introduced when the exchange rate is pegged or managed. On the contrary, we found no effects of capital controls on growth: we reject rather strongly the hypothesis that capital controls reduce growth.

Suggested Citation

  • A Alesina & V Grilli & G Milesi-Feretti, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," CEP Discussion Papers dp0169, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0169
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Auguste, Sebastian & Dominguez, Kathryn M.E. & Kamil, Herman & Tesar, Linda L., 2006. "Cross-border trading as a mechanism for implicit capital flight: ADRs and the Argentine crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1259-1295, October.
    2. Chen, Jinzhao & Quang, Thérèse, 2014. "The impact of international financial integration on economic growth: New evidence on threshold effects," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 475-489.
    3. Andrew K. Rose, 1994. "Exchange Rate Volatility, Monetary Policy, and Capital Mobility: Empirical Evidence on the Holy Trinity," NBER Working Papers 4630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mitchener, Kris James & Wandschneider, Kirsten, 2015. "Capital controls and recovery from the financial crisis of the 1930s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 188-201.
    5. Cardenas, Mauricio & Barrera, Felipe, 1997. "On the effectiveness of capital controls: The experience of Colombia during the 1990s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 27-57, October.
    6. Mauricio Cárdenas & Felipe Barrera, 1996. "Sobre la efectividad de los controles a los flujos de capital en Colombia," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, June.
    7. Dudley Cooke, 2007. "How do Capital Controls Affect the Transmission of Foreign Shocks?," EPRU Working Paper Series 07-02, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    8. Gkillas (Gillas), Konstantinos & Tsagkanos, Athanasios & Siriopoulos, Costas, 2016. "The risk in capital controls," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 261-266.
    9. Carmen M. Reinhart & M. Belen Sbrancia1, 2015. "The liquidation of government debt," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(82), pages 291-333.
    10. Timm Betz & Andrew Kerner, 2016. "The influence of interest: Real US interest rates and bilateral investment treaties," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 419-448, December.
    11. Hernán Rincón, 2000. "Efectividad del control a los flujos de capital: Un reexamen empírico de la experiencia reciente en Colombia," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, February.
    12. Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Explaining exchange rate volatility: an empirical analysis of 'the holy trinity' of monetary independence, fixed exchange rates, and capital mobility," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 925-945, December.
    13. Pariwat Kanithasen & Vacharakoon Jivakanont & Charnon Boonnuch, 2011. "AEC 2015: Ambitions, Expectations and Challenges ASEAN's Path towards Greater Economic and Financial Integration," Working Papers 2011-03, Monetary Policy Group, Bank of Thailand.
    14. Ilan GOLDFAJN & Gino OLIVARES, 2001. "Can Flexible Exchange Rates Still “Work” In Financially Open Economies?," G-24 Discussion Papers 8, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    15. Zhu, D., 2006. "Essays on financial structure and macroeconomic performance," Other publications TiSEM 24c51821-c7c3-4684-acf8-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. William R. Cline, 2010. "Financial Globalization, Economic Growth, and the Crisis of 2007-09," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 499.
    17. Samitas, Aristeidis & Polyzos, Stathis, 2016. "Freeing Greece from capital controls: Were the restrictions enforced in time?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 196-213.
    18. André de Melo Modenesi & Rui Lyrio Modenesi, 2015. "Capital Controls and Financial Liberalization: Removing the Ideological Bias in Light of the Contribution of Keynes and Others and the Recent Experience," Discussion Papers 0183, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.

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