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Collateral Damage: Exchange Controls and International Trade

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  • Shang-Jin Wei
  • Zhiwei Zhang

Abstract

While new conventional wisdom warns that developing countries should be aware of the risks of premature capital account liberalization, the costs of not removing exchange controls have received much less attention. This paper investigates the negative effects of exchange controls on trade. To minimize evasion of controls, countries often intensify inspections at the border and increase documentation requirements. Thus, the cost of conducting trade rises. The paper finds that a one standard-deviation increase in the controls on trade payment has the same negative effect on trade as an increase in tariff by about 14 percentage points. A one standard-deviation increase in the controls on FX transactions reduces trade by the same amount as a rise in tariff by 11 percentage points. Therefore, the collateral damage in terms of foregone trade is sizable.

Suggested Citation

  • Shang-Jin Wei & Zhiwei Zhang, 2007. "Collateral Damage: Exchange Controls and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13020
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    Cited by:

    1. Ndubuisi, Gideon, 2020. "Fettered cross-border capital flows, external finance dependence, and international trade," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 206-216.
    2. Mitchener, Kris James & Wandschneider, Kirsten, 2015. "Capital controls and recovery from the financial crisis of the 1930s," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 188-201.
    3. Ayhan Kose, M. & Prasad, Eswar S. & Terrones, Marco E., 2009. "Does openness to international financial flows raise productivity growth?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 554-580, June.
    4. Ila Patnaik & Abhijit Sen Gupta & Ajay Shah, 2012. "Determinants of Trade Misinvoicing," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 891-910, November.
    5. Han, Xuehui & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2016. "International Transmissions of Monetary Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 11070, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Xuehui Han & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Policy Choices and Resilience to International Monetary Shocks," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 319-337, December.
    7. Azim M Sadikov, 2007. "Border and Behind-the-Border Trade Barriers and Country Exports," IMF Working Papers 07/292, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Vithessonthi, Chaiporn & Tongurai, Jittima, 2013. "Unremunerated reserve requirements, exchange rate volatility, and firm value," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 358-378.
    9. Douglas A. Irwin, 2019. "Does Trade Reform Promote Economic Growth? A Review of Recent Evidence," Working Paper Series WP19-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    10. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 2010. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 871-897, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration

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