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Management of Capital Flows in India: 1990-2011


  • Sen Gupta, Abhijit
  • Sengupta, Rajeswari


Increased integration with global financial markets has amplified the complexity of macroeconomic management in India. The diverse objectives of a robust growth rate, healthy current account deficit, competitive exchange rate, adequate external capital to finance investment, moderate inflation, targeted monetary and credit growth rate, minimizing financial fragilities and maintaining adequate reserves need to be balanced in an era of volatile capital flows. In this paper we analyze India’s experience in negotiating the trade-offs between these varied objectives. We find that to minimize risks associated with financial fragilities India has adopted a calibrated and gradual approach towards opening of the capital account, prioritizing the liberalization of certain flows. Using empirical methods we find that instead of adopting corner solutions, India has embraced an intermediate approach in managing the conflicting objectives of the well-known Impossible Trinity – monetary autonomy, exchange rate stability and an open capital account. Our results indicate that the intermediate approach has been associated with an asymmetric intervention in the foreign exchange market, with the objective of resisting pressures of appreciation, and resulted in large accumulation of reserves. We also show that sterilization of this intervention has been incomplete at times leading to rapid increase in monetary aggregates and fueling inflation. Finally, we conclude that while the greater flexibility in exchange rate since 2007, has allowed pursuit of a more independent monetary policy and the exchange rate to act as a shock absorber, the hands-off approach has resulted in reserves remaining virtually stagnant since 2007, leading to a significant deterioration in the reserve adequacy measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Sen Gupta, Abhijit & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2013. "Management of Capital Flows in India: 1990-2011," MPRA Paper 46217, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46217

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2013. "Impact of exchange rate movements on exports: An analysis of Indian non-financial sector firms," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 231-245.
    2. Sayantan Bandhu Majumder & Ranjanendra Narayan Nag, 2016. "Understanding the Behaviour of Capital Flow and its Components: The Indian Experience," Margin: The Journal of Applied Economic Research, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 10(3), pages 355-380, August.
    3. Abhijit Sen Gupta & Rajeswari Sengupta, 2014. "Is India ready for flexible inflation-targeting?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-019, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    4. Anubha Dhasmana, 2015. "Transmission of real exchange rate changes to the manufacturing sector: The role of financial access," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 143, pages 48-69.

    More about this item


    Capital controls; Macroeconomic trilemma; Financial integration; Foreign exchange intervention; Sterilization; Exchange market pressure; Reserve adequacy.;

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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