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Endogenous Financial Openness: Efficiency and Political Economy Considerations

  • Joshua Aizenman
  • Ilan Noy

This paper studies the endogenous determination of financial openness. We outline a framework where financial openness is endogenously determined by the authority's choice of financial repression as a taxation device, and where the private sector determines endogenously the magnitude of capital flight. The optimal financial repression is shown to depend on the openness of the economy to international trade, the efficiency of the tax system (which in turn may be affected by political economy considerations), and on political polarization and the degree of opportunism. Similar predictions are obtained in a model where authorities pursue an opportunistic policy representing the interest of a narrow pressure group that engages in capital flight due to political uncertainty. We confirm the predictions of the models, showing that de-facto financial openness [measured by (gross private capital inflows + outflows)/GDP] depends positively on lagged trade openness, and GDP/Capita. For developing countries, we find that a one standard deviation increase in commercial openness is associated with a 9.5 percent increase in de-facto financial openness (% of GDP), a one standard deviation increase in the democratization index reduces financial openness by 3.5%, and a one standard deviation increase in corruption is associated with a 3% reduction of financial openness. Similar negative dependence applies for measures of political competition. The impact of a budget surplus on financial openness is negative for developing countries, but positive for the OECD. The theoretical and empirical analysis leads us to conclude that a more openly competitive, free and inclusive political system will lead to lower levels of de-facto financial openness after controlling for incomes, macroeconomic policy (inflation and budget surpluses), interest rates and commercial openness.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10144.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Publication status: published as Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2009. "Endogenous Financial and Trade Openness," Review of Development Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 13(2), pages 175-189, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10144
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  1. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2001. "Does Financial Liberalization Spur Growth?," NBER Working Papers 8245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Eichengreen, Barry & Arteta, Carlos, 2000. "Banking Crises in Emerging Markets: Presumptions and Evidence," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt3pk9t1h2, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  13. Fischer, S. & Cooper, R.N. & Dornbusch, R. & Garber, P.M. & Massad, C. & Polak, J.J. & Rodrik, D. & Tarapore, S.S., 1998. "Should the IMF Pursue Capital-Account Convertibility?," Princeton Essays in International Economics 207, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
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