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Capital Controls and Recovery from the Financial Crisis of the 1930s

Author

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  • Mitchener, Kris James

    (University of Warwick)

  • Wandschneider, Kirsten

    (Occidental College)

Abstract

We examine the first widespread use of capital controls in response to a global or regional financial crisis. In particular, we analyze whether capital controls mitigated capital flight in the 1930s and assess their causal effects on macroeconomic recovery from the Great Depression. We find evidence that they stemmed gold outflows in the year following their imposition; however, time-shifted, difference-indifferences (DD) estimates of industrial production, prices, and exports suggest that exchange controls did not accelerate macroeconomic recovery relative to countries that went off gold and floated. Countries imposing capital controls also appear to perform similar to the gold bloc countries once the latter group of countries finally abandoned gold. Time series regressions further demonstrate that countries imposing capital controls refrained from fully utilizing their newly acquired monetary policy autonomy. Even so, capital controls remained in place as instruments for manipulating trade flows and for preserving foreign exchange for the repayment of external debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitchener, Kris James & Wandschneider, Kirsten, 2013. "Capital Controls and Recovery from the Financial Crisis of the 1930s," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 132, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:132
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Les contrôles de capitaux stimulent-ils les reprises ? Ce que nous enseigne la Grande Dépression
      by ? in D'un champ l'autre on 2014-06-17 04:21:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Jalil, Andrew J. & Rua, Gisela, 2016. "Inflation expectations and recovery in spring 1933," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 26-50.
    2. Gkillas (Gillas), Konstantinos & Tsagkanos, Athanasios & Siriopoulos, Costas, 2016. "The risk in capital controls," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 261-266.
    3. Raphael Hekimian & David Le Bris, 2016. "US Crashes of 2008 and 1929 How did the French market react? An empirical study," EconomiX Working Papers 2016-21, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    4. Samitas, Aristeidis & Polyzos, Stathis, 2016. "Freeing Greece from capital controls: Were the restrictions enforced in time?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, pages 196-213.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    capital controls; financial crises; Great Depression; interwar gold standard;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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