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On the Hidden Links Between Financial and Trade Opening

  • Joshua Aizenman

This paper investigates the association between commercial and financial openness of developing countries. The data suggest that, controlling for GDP/Capita changes and allowing for country specific effects, increase in a developing country's (exports + imports)/GDP is associated with a highly significant increase in financial openness [measured by (gross private capital inflows + gross private outflows)/GDP]. I outline a model accounting for some of the endogenous linkages between financial and trade openness. I show that developing countries, characterized by high costs of tax collection and enforcement, opt to use financial repression as an implicit tax on savings. The resultant financial repression provides the impetus for capital flight. A frequent mechanism facilitating illicit capital movements is to over invoice imports and under invoice exports with the scale of these activities being proportional to the commercial openness of the economy. This linkage is subject to costly control by the fiscal authorities, where curtailing illicit capital flows requires spending resources on monitoring and enforcement of existing capital controls. The effectiveness of capital controls would increase with the resources spent on monitoring and enforcement per one dollar of international trade. Under these circumstances, greater commercial openness increases the effective cost of enforcing financial repression, thereby reducing the usefulness of financial repression as an implicit tax. This in turn implies that financial reforms tend to be the by-product of greater trade integration.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9906.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9906.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Publication status: published as Aizenman, Joshua, 2008. "On the hidden links between financial and trade opening," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 372-386, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9906
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  1. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Renu Kohli & Kenneth Kletzer, 2001. "Financial Repression and Exchange Rate Management in Developing Countries; Theory and Empirical Evidence for India," IMF Working Papers 01/103, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Joshua Aizenman & Pablo E. Guidotti, 1990. "Capital Controls, Collection Costs, and Domestic Public Debt," NBER Working Papers 3443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
  5. Kevin C. Murdock & Thomas F. Hellmann & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "Liberalization, Moral Hazard in Banking, and Prudential Regulation: Are Capital Requirements Enough?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 147-165, March.
  6. Claessens, Stijn & Naude, David, 1993. "Recent estimates of capital flight," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1186, The World Bank.
  7. Sebastian Edwards & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2002. "Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa02-2.
  8. Eggerstedt, Harald & Hall, Rebecca Brideau & Van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1995. "Measuring capital flight: A case study of Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 211-232, February.
  9. Giovannini, Alberto & de Melo, Martha, 1993. "Government Revenue from Financial Repression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 953-63, September.
  10. Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2003. "Endogenous Financial Openness: Efficiency and Political Economy Considerations," NBER Working Papers 10144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Simeon Inidayo Ajayi, 1997. "An Analysis of External Debt and Capital Flight in the Severely Indebted Low Income Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 97/68, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2002. "A gravity model of sovereign lending: trade, default and credit," Working Paper Series 2002-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Martin Feldstein, 2003. "Economic and Financial Crises in Emerging Market Economies," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld03-1.
  14. Joshua Aizenman, 2004. "Financial Opening: Evidence and Policy Options," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 473-498 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Enrica Detragiache & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, 1998. "Financial Liberalization and Financial Fragility," IMF Working Papers 98/83, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Arteta, Carlos & Eichengreen, Barry & Wyplosz, Charles, 2001. "When Does Capital Account Liberalization Help More Than it Hurts?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. M. Ayhan Kose & Kenneth Rogoff & Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "Effects of Financial Globalization on Developing Countries; Some Empirical Evidence," IMF Occasional Papers 220, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Edwards, Sebastian & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1986. "The Welfare Effects of Trade and Capital Market Liberalization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 141-48, February.
  19. Michael P. Dooley, 1996. "A Survey of Literature on Controls over International Capital Transactions," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 639-687, December.
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