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Capital controls: myth and reality, a portfolio balance approach to capital controls

Author

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  • Nicolas E. Magud
  • Carmen M. Reinhart
  • Kenneth S. Rogoff

Abstract

The literature on capital controls has (at least) four very serious apples-to-oranges problems: (i) There is no unified theoretical framework to analyze the macroeconomic consequences of controls; (ii) there is significant heterogeneity across countries and time in the control measures implemented; (iii) there are multiple definitions of what constitutes a \"success\" and (iv) the empirical studies lack a common methodology--furthermore these are significantly \"overweighted\" by a couple of country cases (Chile and Malaysia). In this paper, we attempt to address some of these shortcomings by: being very explicit about what measures are construed as capital controls. Also, given that success is measured so differently across studies, we sought to \"standardize\" the results of over 30 empirical studies we summarize in this paper. The standardization was done by constructing two indices of capital controls: Capital Controls Effectiveness Index (CCE Index), and Weighted Capital Control Effectiveness Index (WCCE Index). The difference between them lies in that the WCCE controls for the differentiated degree of methodological rigor applied to draw conclusions in each of the considered papers. Inasmuch as possible, we bring to bear the experiences of less well known episodes than those of Chile and Malaysia. Then, using a portfolio balance approach we model the effects of imposing short-term capital controls. We find that there should exist country-specific characteristics for capital controls to be effective. From these simple perspective, this rationalizes why some capital controls were effective and some were not. We also show that the equivalence in effects of price- vs. quantity-capital control are conditional on the level of short-term capital flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas E. Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2007. "Capital controls: myth and reality, a portfolio balance approach to capital controls," Working Paper Series 2007-31, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2007-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ethan Kaplan & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Did the Malaysian Capital Controls Work?," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 393-440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
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    6. Eliana Cardoso & Ilan Goldfajn, 1998. "Capital Flows to Brazil: The Endogeneity of Capital Controls," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 161-202, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Jacques Miniane & John H. Rogers, 2007. "Capital Controls and the International Transmission of U.S. Money Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1003-1035, August.
    9. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Smith, R. Todd, 2002. "Temporary controls on capital inflows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 327-351, August.
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    13. Mr. Akira Ariyoshi & Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko & Mr. Karl F Habermeier & Mr. Andrei A Kirilenko & Mr. Bernard J Laurens & Ms. Inci Ötker, 2000. "Capital Controls: Country Experiences with Their Use and Liberalization," IMF Occasional Papers 2000/009, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Luis Servén, 2010. "Are All the Sacred Cows Dead? Implications of the Financial Crisis for Macro- and Financial Policies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 91-124, February.
    2. Mouhamadou Sy, 2012. "Exchange Rate Regimes, Capital Controls and the Pattern of Speculative Capital Flows," PSE Working Papers halshs-00684591, HAL.

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    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General

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