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Capital controls and exchange rate instability in developing economies

  • Reuven Glick
  • Michael Hutchison

A large literature on the appropriate sequencing of financial liberalization suggests that removing capital controls prematurely may contribute to currency instability. This paper investigates whether legal restrictions on international capital flows are associated with greater currency stability. We employ a comprehensive panel data set of 69 developing economies over the 1975–1997 period, identifying 160 currency crises. We control for macroeconomic, political, and institutional characteristics that influence the probability of a currency crisis, employ alternative measures of restrictions on international payments, and account for possible joint causality between the likelihood of a currency attack and the imposition of capital controls. We find evidence that restrictions on capital flows do not effectively insulate economies from currency problems; rather, countries with less restrictive capital controls and more liberalized regimes appear to be less prone to speculative attacks.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Pacific Basin Working Paper Series with number 2000-05.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of International Money and Finance, V. 24, no. 3 (April 2005) pp. 387-412
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpb:2000-05
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  10. Vittorio Grilli & Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls," IMF Working Papers 95/31, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Glick, Reuven & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "Contagion and Trade: Why are Currency Crises Regional," CEPR Discussion Papers 1947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Dooley, Michael P & Isard, Peter, 1980. "Capital Controls, Political Risk, and Deviations from Interest-Rate Parity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 370-84, April.
  19. Glick,Reuven & Moreno,Ramon & Spiegel,Mark M. (ed.), 2001. "Financial Crises in Emerging Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800204, November.
  20. Barry J. Eichengreen, 1999. "Toward a New International Financial Architecture: A Practical Post-Asia Agenda," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 51.
  21. Vicente Galbis, 1993. "High Real Interest Rates Under Financial Liberalization; Is there a Problem?," IMF Working Papers 93/7, International Monetary Fund.
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  24. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
  25. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "Crisis Prevention: Lessons from Mexico and East Asia," NBER Working Papers 7233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Reuven Glick & Ramon Moreno & Mark M. Spiegel, 2001. "Financial crises in emerging markets," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar.23.
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