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Capital Controls: Mud in the Wheels of Market Discipline

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  • Kristin J. Forbes

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristin J. Forbes, 2004. "Capital Controls: Mud in the Wheels of Market Discipline," NBER Working Papers 10284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10284
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey, 2000. "Foreign Speculators and Emerging Equity Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 565-613, April.
    2. 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.
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    8. Michael W. Klein, 2003. "Capital Account Openness and the Varieties of Growth Experience," NBER Working Papers 9500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Reuven Glick & Michael Hutchison, "undated". "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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ffrench-Davis, Ricardo & Villar Gómez, Leonardo, 2005. "Estabilidad macroeconómica real y la cuenta de capitales en Chile y Colombia," Copublicaciones, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1858, December.
    2. Radhika Pandey & Gurnain Pasricha & Ila Patnaik & Ajay Shah, 2015. "Motivations for Capital Controls and Their Effectiveness," Staff Working Papers 15-5, Bank of Canada.
    3. Bernardo S. de M. Carvalho & Márcio G. P. Garcia, 2008. "Ineffective Controls on Capital Inflows under Sophisticated Financial Markets: Brazil in the Nineties," NBER Chapters,in: Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets, pages 29-96 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Steinherr, Alfred & Cisotta, Alessandro & Klar, Erik & Sehovic, Kenan, 2006. "Liberalizing Cross-Border Capital Flows: How Effective Are Institutional Arrangements against Crisis in Southeast Asia," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 6, Asian Development Bank.
    5. Alfaro, Laura & Hammel, Eliza, 2007. "Capital flows and capital goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 128-150, May.
    6. Makram El-Shagi, 2010. "Capital controls and international interest rate differentials," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 681-688.
    7. Andreas Hauskrecht & Nhan Le, 2005. "Capital Account Liberalization for a Small, Open Economy," Working Papers 2005-13, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    8. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton, 2007. "International Financial Integration and Entrepreneurial Firm Activity," NBER Working Papers 13118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kristin J. Forbes, 2005. "Capital Controls: Mud in the Wheels of Market Efficiency," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 25(1), pages 153-166, Winter.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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