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Capital Controls: Mud in the Wheels of Market Discipline

  • Kristin J. Forbes

Widespread support for capital account liberalization in emerging markets has recently shifted to skepticism and even support for capital controls in certain circumstances. This sea-change in attitudes has been bolstered by the inconclusive macroeconomic evidence on the benefits of capital account liberalization. There are several compelling reasons why it is difficult to measure the aggregate impact of capital controls in very different countries. Instead, a new and more promising approach is more detailed microeconomic studies of how capital controls have generated specific distortions in individual countries. Several recent papers have used this approach and examined very different aspects of capital controls from their impact on crony capitalism in Malaysia and on financing constraints in Chile, to their impact on US multinational behavior and the efficiency of stock market pricing. Each of these diverse studies finds a consistent result: capital controls have significant economic costs and lead to a misallocation of resources. This new microeconomic evidence suggests that capital controls are not just sand', but rather mud in the wheels' of market discipline.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10284.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Publication status: published as Borio, Claudio, et al (eds.) Market discipline across countries and industries. Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 2004.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10284
Note: IFM
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  1. Rudi Dornbusch, 2002. "Malaysia's Crisis: Was It Different?," NBER Chapters, in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 441-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kaplan, Ethan & Rodrik, Dani, 2001. "Did the Malaysian Capital Controls Work?," Working Paper Series rwp01-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Reuven Glick & Michael Hutchison, . "Stopping "Hot Money" or Signaling Bad Policy? Capital Controls and the Onset of Currency Crises," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-14, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Francisco Nadal-De Simone & Piritta Sorsa, 1999. "A Review of Capital Account Restrictions in Chile in the 1990's," IMF Working Papers 99/52, International Monetary Fund.
  5. M. Ayhan Kose & Kenneth Rogoff & Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Effects of Financial Globalization on Developing Countries; Some Empirical Evidence," IMF Occasional Papers 220, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Forbes, Kristin J., 2003. "One Cost of the Chilean Capital Controls: Increased Financial Constraints for Smaller Traded Firms," Working papers 4273-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  7. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey, 1997. "Foreign Speculators and Emerging Equity Markets," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 79, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  8. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2006. "Capital Controls, Liberalizations, and Foreign Direct Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 1433-1464.
  9. Kan Li & Randall Morck & Fan Yang & Bernard Yeung, 2003. "Firm-Specific Variation and Openness in Emerging Markets," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-623, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Henry, Peter Blair, 2000. "Do stock market liberalizations cause investment booms?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 301-334.
  11. Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2001. "Cronyism and Capital Controls: Evidence from Malaysia," NBER Working Papers 8521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. R. Gaston Gelos & Shang-Jin Wei, 2002. "Transparency and International Investor Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stanley Fischer, 2002. "Financial Crises and Reform of the International Financial System," NBER Working Papers 9297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 506, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Michael W. Klein, 2003. "Capital Account Openness and the Varieties of Growth Experience," NBER Working Papers 9500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Sebastian Edwards & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2002. "Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa02-2, August.
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