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Bubble thy neighbor: portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls

  • Forbes, Kristin
  • Fratzscher, Marcel
  • Kostka, Thomas
  • Straub, Roland

We use changes in Brazil’s tax on capital inflows from 2006 to 2011 to test for direct portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls on investor portfolios. The analysis is structured based on information from investor interviews. We find that an increase in Brazil’s tax on foreign investment in bonds causes investors to significantly decrease their portfolio allocations to Brazil in both bonds and equities. Investors simultaneously increase allocations to other countries that have substantial exposure to China and decrease allocations to countries viewed as more likely to use capital controls. Much of the effect of capital controls on portfolio flows appears to occur through signalling —i.e. changes in investor expectations about future policies— rather than the direct cost of the controls. This evidence of significant externalities from capital controls suggests that any assessment of controls should consider their effects on portfolio flows to other countries. JEL Classification: F3, F4, F5, G0, G1

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1456.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121456
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  1. Nicolas E. Magud E. & Carmen M. & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality--A Portfolio Balance Approach," Working Paper Series WP11-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Forbes, Kristin J. & Warnock, Francis E., 2012. "Capital flow waves: Surges, stops, flight, and retrenchment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 235-251.
  3. Henry, Peter B., 2007. "Capital Account Liberalization: Theory, Evidence, and Speculation," Research Papers 1974, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  9. Arnaud Costinot & Guido Lorenzoni & Iv�n Werning, 2014. "A Theory of Capital Controls as Dynamic Terms-of-Trade Manipulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(1), pages 77 - 128.
  10. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock & Jon Wongswan, 2011. "US International Equity Investment and Past and Prospective Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3440-55, December.
  11. Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2005. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-19, University of Oregon Economics Department.
    • Nicolas Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2007. "Capital Controls: An Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 645-674 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. R. Gaston Gelos & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "Transparency and International Portfolio Holdings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2987-3020, December.
  13. Olivier Jeanne & Anton Korinek, 2010. "Managing Credit Booms and Busts: A Pigouvian Taxation Approach," Working Paper Series WP10-12, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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  17. Olivier Jeanne & Arvind Subramanian & John Williamson, 2012. "Who Needs to Open the Capital Account?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 5119.
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  19. International Monetary Fund, 2004. "When in Peril, Retrench; Testing the Portfolio Channel of Contagion," IMF Working Papers 04/131, International Monetary Fund.
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  21. Forbes, Kristin J., 2004. "The Asian flu and Russian virus: the international transmission of crises in firm-level data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 59-92, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Chikako Baba & Annamaria Kokenyne, 2011. "Effectiveness of Capital Controls in Selected Emerging Markets in the 2000's," IMF Working Papers 11/281, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Kenneth A. Froot & Paul G.J. O'Connell & Mark S. Seasholes, 1998. "The Portfolio Flows of International Investors, I," NBER Working Papers 6687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Paolo Mauro, 2007. "Do Some Forms of Financial Flows Help Protect Against "Sudden Stops"?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(3), pages 389-411, September.
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  29. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1993. "Does Foreign-Exchange Intervention Matter? The Portfolio Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1356-69, December.
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