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Capital Controls: Myth and Reality--A Portfolio Balance Approach

  • Nicolas E. Magud E.

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Carmen M.

    ()

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Kenneth S. Rogoff

    (Harvard University - Department of Economics)

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 capital controls on short-term flows. We find that there should exist country-specific characteristics for capital controls to be effective. From this 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.

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Paper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number WP11-7.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp11-7
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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. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 4(3-4), pages 153-159, Jul/Oct.
  3. Sebastian Edwards, 2007. "Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa06-1, May.
  4. Bartolini, Leonardo & Drazen, Allan, 1997. "Capital-Account Liberalization as a Signal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 138-54, March.
  5. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Smith, R. Todd, 2002. "Temporary controls on capital inflows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 327-351, August.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth & Savastano, Miguel, 2003. "Debt intolerance," MPRA Paper 13932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Rudi Dornbusch, 2001. "Malaysia: Was it Different?," NBER Working Papers 8325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen & Magud, Nicolas, 2007. "Capital controls: An evaluation," MPRA Paper 14097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    • 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.
  9. Akira Ariyoshi & Andrei Kirilenko & Inci Ötker & Bernard Laurens & Jorge Iván Canales Kriljenko & Karl Friedrich Habermeier, 2000. "Capital Controls; Country Experiences with Their Use and Liberalization," IMF Occasional Papers 190, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Carmen M. Reinhart & R. Todd Smith, 1996. "Too much of a good thing: the macroeconomic effects of taxing capital inflows," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 436-464.
  11. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1994. "The capital inflows problem: Concepts and issues," MPRA Paper 13902, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Hernán Rincón & Jorge Toro, . "Are Capital Controls and Central Bank Intervention Effective?," Borradores de Economia 625, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  13. Bernard Laurens & Jaime Cardoso, 1998. "Managing Capital Flows; Lessons From the Experience of Chile," IMF Working Papers 98/168, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Liliana Rojas-Suárez & Donald J. Mathieson, 1993. "Liberalization of the Capital Account; Experiences and Issues," IMF Occasional Papers 103, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  16. Eliane A. Cardoso & Ilan Goldfajn, 1997. "Capital Flows to Brazil-The Endogeneity of Capital Controls," IMF Working Papers 97/115, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Francisco A. Gallego & Leonardo Hernandez & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2000. "Capital Controls in Chile: Effective? Efficient?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0330, Econometric Society.
  18. Natalia T. Tamirisa, 2004. "Do Macroeconomic Effects of Capital Controls Vary by their Type? Evidence From Malaysia," IMF Working Papers 04/3, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  20. Edison, Hali & Reinhart, Carmen M., 2001. "Stopping hot money," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 533-553, December.
  21. Benedict J. Clements & Herman Kamil, 2009. "Are Capital Controls Effective in the 21st Century? the Recent Experience of Colombia," IMF Working Papers 09/30, International Monetary Fund.
  22. Reinhart, Carmen M & Reinhart, Vincent R, 1999. "On the Use of Reserve Requirements in Dealing with Capital Flow Problems," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(1), pages 27-54, January.
  23. Sebastian Edwards, 1999. "How Effective are Capital Controls?," NBER Working Papers 7413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. De Gregorio, Jose & Edwards, Sebastian & Valdes, Rodrigo O., 2000. "Controls on capital inflows: do they work?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 59-83, October.
  25. Reinhart, Vincent R, 2000. "How the Machinery of International Finance Runs with Sand in Its Wheels," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 74-85, February.
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