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Are Capital Controls Prudential? An Empirical Investigation

  • Andrés Fernández
  • Alessandro Rebucci
  • Martín Uribe

A growing recent theoretical literature advocates the use of prudential capital control policy, that is, the tightening of restrictions on cross-border capital flows during booms and the relaxation thereof during recessions. We examine the behavior of capital controls in a large number of countries over the period 1995-2011. We find that capital controls are remarkably acyclical. Boom-bust episodes in output, the current account, or the real exchange rate are associated with virtually no movements in capital controls. These results are robust to decomposing boom-bust episodes along a number of dimensions, including the level of development, the level of external indebtedness, or the exchange-rate regime. We also document a near complete acyclicality of capital controls during the Great Contraction of 2007-2009.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19671.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19671.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics Volume 76, November 2015, Pages 1–14 Cover image Are capital controls countercyclical? Andrés Fernándeza, , Alessandro Rebuccib, , Martín Uribec, d, ,
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19671
Note: EFG IFM
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  1. Nicolas E. Magud & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "Capital Controls: Myth and Reality - A Portfolio Balance Approach," NBER Working Papers 16805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2011. "Financial Crises and Macro-Prudential Policies," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 27738, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Kristin Forbes & Marcel Fratzscher & Roland Straub, 2013. "Capital Controls and Macroprudential Measures: What Are They Good For?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1343, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Joshua Aizenman & Gurnain Kaur Pasricha, 2013. "Why do emerging markets liberalize capital outflow controls? Fiscal versus net capital flow concerns," NBER Working Papers 18879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Enrique G. Mendoza & Javier Bianchi, 2010. "Overborrowing, financial crises and ‘macro-prudential’ taxes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Oct.
  6. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2010. "Revisiting Overborrowing and its Policy Implications," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 582, Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Bianchi, Javier, 2009. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 15114, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, 2012. "Dealing with the Trilemma: Optimal Capital Controls with Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 18199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martín Uribe, 2006. "Individual Versus Aggregate Collateral Constraints and the Overborrowing Syndrome," NBER Working Papers 12260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2005. "What Matters for Financial Development? Capital Controls, Institutions, and Interactions," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5pv1j341, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Diego Saravia, 2010. "Monetary Policy Under Financial Turbulence: an Overview," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 594, Central Bank of Chile.
  12. Guido Lorenzoni, 2007. "Inefficient Credit Booms," NBER Working Papers 13639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2012. "Optimal policy for macro-financial stability," Working Papers 2012-041, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  14. Martin Schindler, 2009. "Measuring Financial Integration: A New Data Set," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 222-238, April.
  15. Mody, Ashoka & Murshid, Antu Panini, 2005. "Growing up with capital flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 249-266, January.
  16. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Karl F Habermeier & Marcos d Chamon & Mahvash S Qureshi & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt, 2010. "Capital Inflows; The Role of Controls," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
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