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Capital Controls, Global Liquidity Traps and the International Policy Trilemma

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  • Michael B. Devereux
  • James Yetman

Abstract

The 'International Policy Trilemma' refers to the constraint on independent monetary policy that is forced on a country which remains open to international financial markets and simultaneously pursues an exchange rate target. This paper shows that, in a global economy with open financial markets, the problem of the zero bound introduces a new dimension to the international policy trilemma. International financial market openness may render monetary policy ineffective, even within a system of fully flexible exchange rates, because shocks that lead to a 'liquidity trap' in one country are propagated through financial markets to other countries. But monetary policy effectiveness may be restored by the imposition of capital controls, which inhibit the transmission of these shocks across countries. We derive an optimal monetary policy response to a global liquidity trap in the presence of capital controls. We further show that, even though capital controls may facilitate effective monetary policy, except in the case where monetary policy is further constrained (beyond the zero lower bound constraint), capital controls are not desirable in welfare terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael B. Devereux & James Yetman, 2013. "Capital Controls, Global Liquidity Traps and the International Policy Trilemma," NBER Working Papers 19091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19091
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    Cited by:

    1. Sushant ACHARYA & Julien BENGUI, 2015. "Liquidity Traps, Capital Flows," Cahiers de recherche 14-2015, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Benigno, Gianluca & Chen, Huigang & Otrok, Christopher & Rebucci, Alessandro & Young, Eric R., 2016. "Optimal capital controls and real exchange rate policies: A pecuniary externality perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 147-165.
    3. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2016. "International Coordination," NBER Working Papers 21878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Caballero, Ricardo & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2015. "Global Imbalances and Currency Wars at the ZLB," CEPR Discussion Papers 10905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Sanjay R. Singh & Lawrence H. Summers, 2016. "A Contagious Malady? Open Economy Dimensions of Secular Stagnation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 581-634, November.
    6. Devereux, Michael B. & Yetman, James, 2014. "Globalisation, pass-through and the optimal policy response to exchange rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(PA), pages 104-128.
    7. repec:cuf:journl:y:2018:v:19:i:1:magud:reinhart:rogoff is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Steiner, Andreas, 2017. "Central banks and macroeconomic policy choices: Relaxing the trilemma," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 283-299.
    9. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Pengfei Jia, 2015. "Capital Controls and Welfare with Cross-Border Bank Capital Flows," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 212, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2017. "Systematic Managed Floating," NBER Working Papers 23663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ippei Fujiwara, 2014. "Comments on Michael Devereux and James Yetman's paper," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Globalisation, inflation and monetary policy in Asia and the Pacific, volume 77, pages 119-125 Bank for International Settlements.
    12. DiGabriele, Jim & Ojo, Marianne, 2017. "The efficiency wage hypothesis and the role of corporate governance in firm performance," MPRA Paper 80710, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Sadat, Nafis, 2015. "Estimation of International Financial Integration: Evidence from European Countries," MPRA Paper 66283, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Aug 2015.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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