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Currency Crises, Capital Account Liberalization, and Selection Bias

  • Reuven Glick

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Xueyan Guo

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

  • Michael Hutchison

    (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Are countries with unregulated capital flows more vulnerable to currency crises? Efforts to answer this question properly must control for “self selection” bias since countries with liberalized capital accounts may also have more sound economic policies and institutions that make them less likely to experience crises. We employ a matching and propensity score methodology to address this issue in a panel analysis of developing countries. Our results suggest that, after controlling for sample selection bias, countries with liberalized capital accounts experience a lower likelihood of currency crises. That is, when two countries have the same likelihood of allowing free movement of capital (based on historical evidence and a very similar set of identical economic and political characteristics at a point in time)—and one country imposes controls and the other does not-- the country without controls has a lower likelihood of experiencing a currency crisis. This result is at odds with the conventional wisdom and suggests that the benefits of capital market liberalization for external stability are substantial.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 04-11.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:04-11
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  1. Leonardo Bartolini & Allan Drazen, 1996. "When Liberal Policies Reflect External Shocks, What Do We Learn?," NBER Working Papers 5727, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jose De Gregorio & Sebastian Edwards & Rodrigo O. Valdes, 2000. "Controls on Capital Inflows: Do they Work?," NBER Working Papers 7645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2004. "The Elusive Gains From International Financial Integration," IMF Working Papers 04/74, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Dellas, Harris & Stockman, Alan, 1993. "Self-Fulfilling Expectations, Speculative Attack, and Capital Controls," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(4), pages 721-30, November.
  5. Kaminsky, Graciela & Lizondo, Saul & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1997. "Leading indicators of currency crises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1852, The World Bank.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
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  8. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear Of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408, May.
  9. Torsten Sløk & Michael Klein & Luca Antonio Ricci & Hali J. Edison, 2002. "Capital Account Liberalization and Economic Performance; Survey and Synthesis," IMF Working Papers 02/120, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Leonardo Bartolini & Allan Drazen, 1996. "Capital account liberalization as a signal," Staff Reports 11, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  12. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  13. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  14. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  15. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
  16. Edison, Hali J. & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1999. "Capital controls during financial crises: the cases of Malaysia and Thailand," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep, pages 1-36.
  17. Vittorio Grilli & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls," IMF Working Papers 95/31, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Reinhart, Carmen & Edison, Hali, 2001. "Stopping hot money," MPRA Paper 13862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Dooley, Michael P & Isard, Peter, 1980. "Capital Controls, Political Risk, and Deviations from Interest-Rate Parity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 370-84, April.
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