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International Borrowing, Capital Controls and the Exchange Rate: Lessons from Chile

  • Kevin Cowan
  • Jose De Gregorio

This paper analyzes the Chilean experience with capital flows. We discuss the role played by capital controls, financial regulations and the exchange rate regime. The focus is on the period after 1990, the period when Chile returned to international capital markets. We also discuss the early 80s, where a currency collapse triggered a financial crisis in Chile, despite stricter capital controls on inflows than the 90s and tighter currency matching requirements on the banking sector. We conclude that financial regulation and the exchange rate regime are at the center of capital inflows experiences and financial vulnerabilities. Rigid exchange rates induce vulnerabilities, which may lead to sharp capital account reversals. We also discuss three important characteristics of the Chilean experience since the 90s. The first is the fact that most international borrowing is done directly by corporations and it is not intermediated by the banking system. The second is the implication of the free trade agreement of Chilean and the US regarding capital controls. Finally, we examine the Chilean experience following the Asian-Russia crisis, showing that Chile did not suffer a sudden-stop, but a current account reversal due to policy reactions and a sudden-start in capital outflows.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 322.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:322
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  1. Jose De Gregorio & Sebastian Edwards & Rodrigo O. Valdes, 2000. "Controls on Capital Inflows: Do they Work?," NBER Working Papers 7645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2004. "Financial globalization and exchange rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19926, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  13. Luis Óscar Herrera & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 2004. "Dedollarization, Indexation and Nominalization: The Chilean Experience," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 261, Central Bank of Chile.
  14. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  15. Marcelo Soto & Salvador Valdés, 1996. "¿Es el Control Selectivo de Capitales Efectivo en Chile? Su Efecto sobre el Tipo de Cambio Real," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 33(98), pages 77-108.
  16. Guillermo A. Calvo & Ernesto Talvi, 2005. "Sudden Stop, Financial Factors and Economic Collpase in Latin America: Learning from Argentina and Chile," NBER Working Papers 11153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kevin Cowan & Erwin Hansen & Luis Oscar Herrera, 2005. "Currency Mismatches, Balance-Sheet Effects and Hedging in Chilean Non-Financial Corporations," Research Department Publications 4387, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. Chang, R. & Velasco, A., 1999. "Liquidity Crises in Emerging Markets: Theory and Policy," Working Papers 99-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  22. Forbes, Kristin J., 2003. "One Cost of the Chilean Capital Controls: Increased Financial Constraints for Smaller Traded Firms," Working papers 4273-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  23. Levy-Yeyati, Eduardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2005. "Classifying exchange rate regimes: Deeds vs. words," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1603-1635, August.
  24. Rodrigo Cifuentes & Jorge Desormeaux & Claudio González, 2002. "Capital markets in Chile: from financial repression to financial deepening," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), The development of bond markets in emerging economies, volume 11, pages 86-102 Bank for International Settlements.
  25. Marcelo Soto, 2000. "Capital Flows and Growth in Developing Countries: Recent Empirical Evidence," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 160, OECD Publishing.
  26. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
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  29. Galindo, Arturo & Panizza, Ugo & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 2003. "Debt composition and balance sheet effects of currency depreciation: a summary of the micro evidence," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 330-339, December.
  30. Jose De Gregorio & Andrea Tokman R., 2004. "Overcoming Fear of Floating: Exchange Rate Policies in Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 302, Central Bank of Chile.
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