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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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46217.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46217
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  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2011. "The financial trilemma in China and a comparative analysis with India," MPRA Paper 34485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Zeileis, Achim & Shah, Ajay & Patnaik, Ila, 2010. "Testing, monitoring, and dating structural changes in exchange rate regimes," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1696-1706, June.
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  7. Pontines, Victor & Rajan, Ramkishen S., 2011. "Foreign exchange market intervention and reserve accumulation in emerging Asia: Is there evidence of fear of appreciation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 252-255, June.
  8. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Bacchetta & Romain Ranciere & Kenneth Rogoff, 2006. "Exchange Rate Volatility and Productivity Growth: The Role of Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 12117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2008. "New Estimation of China's Exchange Rate Regime," Working Paper Series rwp08-077, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  10. Ila Patnaik & Ajay Shah & Anmol Sethy & Vimal Balasubramaniam, 2010. "The exchange rate regime in Asia : From Crisis to Crisis," Finance Working Papers 21852, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  11. Aizenman, Joshua & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2012. "The Financial Trilemma in China and a Comparative Analysis with India," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2xn3238g, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  12. Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Jaewoo & Sushko, Vladyslav, 2010. "From the Great Moderation to the global crisis: Exchange market pressure in the 2000s," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8c75z2pt, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  13. Naveen Srinivasan & Vidya Mahambare & M. Ramachandran, 2009. "Preference asymmetry and international reserve accretion in India," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(15), pages 1543-1546.
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  15. Michael Hutchison & Rajeswari Sengupta & Nirvikar Singh, 2012. "India’s Trilemma: Financial Liberalisation, Exchange Rates and Monetary Policy," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(1), pages 3-18, 01.
  16. Girton, Lance & Roper, Don, 1977. "A Monetary Model of Exchange Market Pressure Applied to the Postwar Canadian Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 537-48, September.
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  18. Sen Gupta Abhijit & Manjhi Ganesh, 2012. "Negotiating the Trilemma: The Indian Experience," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-21, March.
  19. Aizenman, Joshua & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2011. "The financial trilemma in China and a comparative analysis with India," MPRA Paper 39798, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Jul 2012.
  20. Arvind Subramanian & Raghuram Rajan, 2005. "What Undermines Aid's Impacton Growth?," IMF Working Papers 05/126, International Monetary Fund.
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  22. repec:pra:mprapa:39771 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Hutchison, Michael & Sengupta, Rajeswari & Singh, Nirvikar, 2010. "India’s trilemma: financial liberalization, exchange rates and monetary policy," MPRA Paper 25327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Patnaik, Ila & Shah, Ajay, 2011. "Did the Indian capital controls work as a tool of macroeconomic policy?," Working Papers 11/87, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
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