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Capital Controls, Sudden Stops and Current Account Reversals

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  • Sebastian Edwards

Abstract

In this paper I use a broad multi-country data set to analyze the relationship between restrictions to capital mobility and external crises. The analysis focuses on two manifestations of external crises: (a) sudden stops of capital inflows; and (b) current account reversals. I deal with two important policy-related issues: First, does the extent of capital mobility affect countries' degree of vulnerability to external crises; and second, does the extent of capital mobility determine the depth of external crises -- as measured by the decline in growth -- once the crises occur? Overall, my results cast some doubts on the assertion that increased capital mobility has caused heightened macroeconomic vulnerabilities. I find no systematic evidence suggesting that countries with higher capital mobility tend to have a higher incidence of crises, or tend to face a higher probability of having a crisis, than countries with lower mobility. My results do suggest, however, that once a crisis occurs, countries with higher capital mobility may face a higher cost, in terms of growth decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Capital Controls, Sudden Stops and Current Account Reversals," NBER Working Papers 11170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11170
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    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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