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Are Capital Controls and Central Bank Intervention Effective?

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Abstract

Capital controls and intervention in the foreign exchange market are two controversial policy options that many countries have adopted in the past in order to influence the exchange rate and moderate capital flows. Colombia has a long record in the use of these policies with mixed results and often non negligible costs. The objective of this paper is to evaluate for the case of Colombia the effectiveness of capital controls and central bank intervention for depreciating the exchange rate, reducing its volatility, and moderating the exchange rate vulnerability to external shocks. The paper uses high frequency data from 1993 to 2010, and a GARCH model of the peso/US dollar exchange rate return. The main findings indicate that neither capital controls nor central bank intervention used separately were successful for depreciating the exchange rate. On the contrary, they augmented its volatility. Nonetheless, when both policies were used simultaneously, a statistical significant effect was obtained by which the interaction of capital control and intervention in the foreign exchange market were effective to produce a daily average depreciation of the exchange rate, without increasing its volatility. This result however should be taken with caution given the special economic circumstances that characterized 2008, when most of this interaction happened.

Suggested Citation

  • Hernán Rincón & Jorge Toro, 2010. "Are Capital Controls and Central Bank Intervention Effective?," Borradores de Economia 7622, Banco de la Republica.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000094:007622
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    1. Juan José Echavarría & Enrique López E. & Martha Misas A., 2009. "Intervenciones cambiarias y política monetaria en Colombia. Un análisis de VAR estructural," Borradores de Economia 6127, Banco de la Republica.
    2. Juan José Echavarría & Mauricio Villamizar & Diego Vásquez, 2010. "Impacto de las intervenciones cambiarias sobre el nivel y la volatilidad de la tasa de cambio en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 28(62), pages 12-69, June.
    3. Javier Guillermo Gómez, 2006. "Monetary Policy in Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos Sobre Política Económica, Banco de la República, vol. 24(50), pages 12-47, June.
    4. Bank for International Settlements, 2005. "Foreign exchange market intervention in emerging markets: motives, techniques and implications," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 24, July.
    5. Cordella, Tito, 2003. "Can short-term capital controls promote capital inflows?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 737-745, October.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital controls (Tobin tax); central bank intervention; GARCH regression model of the exchange rate return; effectiveness.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection

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