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Capital controls or exchange rate policy? A pecuniary externality perspective

  • Gianluca Benigno
  • Huigang Chen
  • Christopher Otrok
  • Alessandro Rebucci
  • Eric R. Young

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, a new policy paradigm has emerged in which old-fashioned policies such as capital controls and other government distortions have become part of the standard policy toolkit (the so-called macro-prudential policies). On the wave of this seemingly unanimous policy consensus, a new strand of theoretical literature contends that capital controls are welfare enhancing and can be justified rigorously because of second-best considerations. Within the same theoretical framework adopted in this fast-growing literature, we show that a credible commitment to support the exchange rate in crisis times always welfare-dominates prudential capital controls as it can achieve the first best unconstrained allocation. In this benchmark economy, prudential capital controls are optimal only when the set of policy tools is restricted so that they are the only policy instrument available.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/51505/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 51505.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51505
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Arnaud Costinot & Guido Lorenzoni & Iván Werning, 2011. "A Theory of Capital Controls as Dynamic Terms-of-Trade Manipulation," NBER Working Papers 17680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Timothy J Kehoe & David K Levine, 1993. "Debt Constrained Asset Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1276, David K. Levine.
  3. Anna Lipinska & Bianca De Paoli, 2013. "Capital Controls: a Normative Analysis," 2013 Meeting Papers 861, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. 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.
  5. Javier Bianchi & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Overborrowing, Financial Crises and 'Macro-prudential' Taxes," NBER Working Papers 16091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bruce Ian Carlin & Shaun William Davies & Andrew Miles Iannaccone, 2010. "Competing for Attention in Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 16085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Revisiting Overborrowing and its Policy Implications," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia (ed.), Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence, edition 1, volume 16, chapter 6, pages 145-184 Central Bank of Chile.
  8. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia, 2010. "Monetary Policy Under Financial Turbulence: an Overview," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 594, Central Bank of Chile.
  9. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  10. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Financial Crises and Macro-Prudential Policies," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 27738, Inter-American Development Bank.
  11. Javier Bianchi, 2009. "Overborrowing and systemic externalities in the business cycle," Working Paper 2009-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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