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Liberalized Portfolio Capital Inflows in Emerging Markets: Sterilization, Expectations, and the Incompleteness of Interest Rate Convergence

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel and Chudozie Okongwu.

The paper examines interest rates in nine Latin American and East Asian countries during the period 1987-1994. The goal is to discover why interest rates have remained high, failing to converge to U.S. levels, despite capital market liberalization and a resurgence of portfolio capital inflows during the second half of this sample period. Related questions are whether portfolio capital flows are strong enough to equalize expected returns between these "emerging markets" and the U.S., and whether there is any scope left for the authorities to sterilize inflows. The conclusion of the study is that the\e largest single component of the gap in interest rates is expectations of depreciation of the local currencies against the dollar. Key to the analysis is the use of survey data on exchange rate forecasts by market participants. Indicative of integrated financial markets, we also find a big effect of U.S. interest rates on local interest rates, and a highly significant degree of capital flow offset to monetary policy.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C95-054.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c95-054
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  1. Vittorio Grilli & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 517-551, September.
  2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Sara Calvo, 1996. "Capital Flows to Latin America: Is There Evidence of Contagion Effects?," Peterson Institute Press: Chapters, in: Guillermo A. Calvo & Morris Goldstein & Eduard Hochreiter (ed.), Private Capital Flows to Emerging Markets After the Mexican Crisis, pages 151-171 Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Capital Inflows Problem: Concepts And Issues," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(3), pages 54-66, 07.
  4. Kamas, Linda, 1985. "External disturbances and the independence of monetary policy under the crawling peg in Colombia," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 313-327, November.
  5. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1994. "Capital Inflows to Latin America: The 1970s and 1990s," MPRA Paper 8196, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Kenneth A. Froot & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1989. "Forward Discount Bias: Is it an Exchange Risk Premium?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(1), pages 139-161.
  7. Michael P. Dooley & Eduardo Fernandez-Arias & Kenneth M. Kletzer, 1994. "Recent Private Capital Inflows to Developing Countries: Is the Debt Crisis History?," NBER Working Papers 4792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1996. "Inflows of capital to developing countries in the 1990s," MPRA Paper 13707, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Chinn, Menzie D, 1993. "Exchange Rate Expectations and the Risk Premium: Tests for a Cross Section of 17 Currencies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 136-44, June.
  10. Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey Frankel, 1991. "Patterns in Exchange Rate Forecasts for 25 Currencies," NBER Working Papers 3807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen Reinhart & Guillermo Calvo, 1992. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," IMF Working Papers 92/62, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Kouri, Pentti J K & Porter, Michael G, 1974. "International Capital Flows and Portfolio Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 443-67, May/June.
  13. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1991. "The Perils of Sterilization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 921-926, December.
  14. Kamas, Linda, 1986. "The Balance of Payments Offset to Monetary Policy: Monetarist, Portfolio Balance, and Keynesian Estimates for Mexico and Venezuela," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(4), pages 467-81, November.
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