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The Effect of Capital Controls on Interest Rate Differentials

  • Luis Oscar Herrera
  • Rodrigo Valdés

In this paper we present a model of international interest rate arbitrage under conditions of entry and exit costs to and from the domestic capital market. We seek to measure the maximum potential effect of capital controls, such as non-interest paying reserve requirements, on interest rate differentials. We quantify the effect of such taxes using a dynamic optimization model with uncertainty and transaction costs. An optimal (S,s) rule gives the limits for interest rate differentials that trigger massive capital inflows and outflows. We also calculate maximum sustainable interest rate differentials for various maturities and study the effect of parameter changes. Using parameters estimated for the Chilean economy, the model shows that the effect of capital controls on interest rate differentials is considerably smaller than what static calculations suggest.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 50.

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Date of creation: Nov 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:50
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  1. Herrera, Luis Oscar & Valdes, Rodrigo O., 2001. "The effect of capital controls on interest rate differentials," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 385-398, April.
  2. 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.
  3. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  4. Eliane A. Cardoso & Ilan Goldfajn, 1997. "Capital Flows to Brazil: The Endogeneity of Capital Controls," IMF Working Papers 97/115, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  6. Salvador Valdés-Prieto & Marcelo Soto, 1998. "The Effectiveness of Capital Controls: Theory and Evidence from Chile," Empirica, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 133-164, January.
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