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Capital Flows are Fickle; Anytime, Anywhere

Author

Listed:
  • John C Bluedorn
  • Rupa Duttagupta
  • Jaime Guajardo
  • Petia Topalova

Abstract

Has the unprecedented financial globalization of recent years changed the behavior of capital flows across countries? Using a newly constructed database of gross and net capital flows since 1980 for a sample of nearly 150 countries, this paper finds that private capital flows are typically volatile for all countries, advanced or emerging, across all points in time. This holds true across most types of flows, including bank, portfolio debt, and equity flows. Advanced economies enjoy a greater substitutability between types of inflows, and complementarity between gross inflows and outflows, than do emerging markets, which reduces the volatility of their total net inflows despite higher volatility of the components. Capital flows also exhibit low persistence, across all economies and across most types of flows. Inflows tend to rise temporarily when global financing conditions are relatively easy. These findings suggest that fickle capital flows are an unavoidable fact of life to which policymakers across all countries need to continue to manage and adapt.

Suggested Citation

  • John C Bluedorn & Rupa Duttagupta & Jaime Guajardo & Petia Topalova, 2013. "Capital Flows are Fickle; Anytime, Anywhere," IMF Working Papers 13/183, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/183
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Karl F Habermeier & Marcos Chamon & Mahvash S Qureshi & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt, 2010. "Capital Inflows; The Role of Controls," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
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