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On the Timing and Optimality of Capital Controls: Public Expenditures, Debt Dynamics and Welfare

  • Raouf Boucekkine


    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM) - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université, IRES-CORE - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Aude Pommeret


    (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc, University of Lausanne - University of Lausanne)

  • Fabien Prieur


    (LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - Centre international de hautes études agronomiques méditerranéennes [CIHEAM])

This paper solves a second-best problem where a government has in particular to choose whether to tax financial inflows (capital controls) or not, and when. A multi-stage optimal control technique is used to this end. First, it is shown that it is optimal to switch in finite time from capital controls to full financial liberalization (zero tax on capital inflows) whenever a measure of total wealth is above a certain threshold. In particular, a too large initial debt makes financial liberalization sub-optimal. Second, our analysis suggests that capital controls should be used countercyclically: booms should be responded by more financial liberalization while recessions should rather lead to more stringent capital controls. Third, when public expenditure is chosen in order to maximize social welfare, financial liberalization is not unaffordable only for poor countries, even wealthy countries might find it optimal to implement capital controls if they aim to keep a large amount of public expenditure. In short, the preservation of the welfare states might require a more frequent use of capital controls.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00793196.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00793196
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  1. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri & Patrick-Antoine Pintus, 2011. "Leapfrogging, Growth Reversals and Welfare," Working Papers halshs-00576743, HAL.
  2. Kevin Gallagher, 2012. "The Myth of Financial Protectionism: The New (and old) Economics of Capital Controls," Working Papers wp278, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  3. Aizenman, Joshua & Hutchison, Michael & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2011. "What is the Risk of European Sovereign Debt Defaults? Fiscal Space, CDS Spreads and Market Pricing of Risk," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2914v9fh, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. Makris, Miltiadis, 2001. "Necessary conditions for infinite-horizon discounted two-stage optimal control problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 1935-1950, December.
  5. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & Cagri, SAGLAM & Thomas, VALLEE, 2002. "Technology adoption under embodiment : A two-stage optimal control approach," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & KRAWCZYK, Jacek B. & VALLEE, Thomas, . "Environmental quality versus economic performance: a dynamic game approach," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2335, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Ayhan Kose, M. & Prasad, Eswar S. & Taylor, Ashley D., 2011. "Thresholds in the process of international financial integration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 147-179, February.
  8. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri & Patrick A. Pintus, 2014. "Short-Run Pain, Long-Run Gain: The Conditional Welfare Gains from International Financial Integration," Working Papers halshs-00790569, HAL.
  9. Anton Korinek, 2011. "The New Economics of Capital Controls Imposed for Prudential Reasons+L4888," IMF Working Papers 11/298, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Tomiyama, Ken, 1985. "Two-stage optimal control problems and optimality conditions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 317-337, November.
  11. Olivier Jeanne & Anton Korinek, 2010. "Excessive Volatility in Capital Flows: A Pigouvian Taxation Approach," NBER Working Papers 15927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Raouf Boucekkine & Patrick Pintus, 2012. "History’s a curse: leapfrogging, growth breaks and growth reversals under international borrowing without commitment," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 27-47, March.
  13. Raouf Boucekkine & Giorgio Fabbri & Patrick Pintus, 2012. "Short-Run Pain, Long-Run Gain: The Conditional Welfare Gains from International Financial Integration The Conditional Welfare Gains from International Financial Integration," AMSE Working Papers 1202, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 30 Jan 2015.
  14. repec:cor:louvrp:-2335 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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