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The illusive quest: do international capital controls contribute to currency stability?

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  • Reuven Glick
  • Michael M. Hutchison

Abstract

We investigate the effectiveness of capital controls in insulating economies from currency crises, focusing in particular on both direct and indirect effects of capital controls and how these relationships may have changed over time in response to global financial liberalization and the greater mobility of international capital. We predict the likelihood of currency crises using standard macroeconomic variables and a probit equation estimation methodology with random effects. We employ a comprehensive panel data set comprised of 69 emerging market and developing economies over 1975–2004. Both standard and duration-adjusted measures of capital control intensity (allowing controls to "depreciate" over time) suggest that capital controls have not effectively insulated economies from currency crises at any time during our sample period. Maintaining real GDP growth and limiting real overvaluation are critical factors preventing currency crises, not capital controls. However, the presence of capital controls greatly increases the sensitivity of currency crises to changes in real GDP growth and real exchange rate overvaluation, making countries more vulnerable to changes in fundamentals. Our model suggests that emerging markets weathered the 2007-08 crisis relatively well because of strong output growth and exchange rate flexibility that limited overvaluation of their currencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Reuven Glick & Michael M. Hutchison, 2010. "The illusive quest: do international capital controls contribute to currency stability?," Working Paper Series 2010-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2010-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ghosh, Amit, 2014. "How do openness and exchange-rate regimes affect inflation?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 190-202.
    2. Choi, Woo Jin & Taylor, Alan M., 2017. "Precaution Versus Mercantilism: Reserve Accumulation, Capital Controls, and the Real Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 11963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Akram, Gilal Muhammad & Byrne, Joseph P., 2015. "Foreign exchange market pressure and capital controls," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 42-53.
    4. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2015. "L’intégration financière internationale : Théories, évidences, et leçons des expériences récentes [International financial integration: Theory, evidence and lessons from recent experiences]," Research papers & Policy papers 1508, OCP Policy Center.
    5. Chen, Shikuan & Chang, Ming-Jen, 2015. "Capital control and exchange rate volatility," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 167-177.
    6. Mulder, Christian & Perrelli, Roberto & Rocha, Manuel Duarte, 2012. "External vulnerability, balance sheet effects, and the institutional framework — Lessons from the Asian crisis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 16-28.
    7. Ghosh, Amit, 2014. "A comparison of exchange rate regime choice in emerging markets with advanced and low income nations for 1999–2011," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 358-370.
    8. Mohammad Karimi & Marcel-Cristian Voia, 2011. "Currency Crises, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Capital Account Liberalization: A Duration Analysis Approach," Carleton Economic Papers 11-12, Carleton University, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    Financial crises ; Capital market ; Emerging markets ; Econometric models ; Panel analysis;

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