IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Paradigm shift? A critique of the IMF’s new approach to capital controls


  • Daniela Gabor

    (University of the West of England)


The global financial crisis forcefully highlighted the importance of developing mechanisms to curb the effects of large and volatile capital inflows on growth and financial stability in developing countries. It led the IMF to reconsider its long-standing rejection of capital controls. This paper explores the analytical framework underlying the IMF’s new position, arguing that its sequencing strategy offers a formulaic solution that neglects the institutional make-up of money and currency markets, is asymmetric in its emphasis on the upturn of the liquidity cycle and sanctions capital-controls only as a last-resort solution. The new approach can have perverse impacts, increasing vulnerability where banks play an important role in the intermediation of capital inflows. The paper offers alternative policy solutions that focus on realigning bank incentives towards longer horizons and sustainable growth models, combining carefully designed central bank liquidity strategies and institutional changes in the banking sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Gabor, 2011. "Paradigm shift? A critique of the IMF’s new approach to capital controls," Working Papers 1109, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:1109

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Fear of Floating," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 379-408.
    2. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
    3. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "The social cost of foreign exchange reserves," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 253-266.
    4. Sébastien Wälti, 2012. "The myth of decoupling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(26), pages 3407-3419, September.
    5. 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.
    6. William R. Cline & John Williamson, 2010. "Estimates of Fundamental Equilibrium Exchange Rates, May 2010," Policy Briefs PB10-15, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    7. Dani Rodrik, 2008. "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(2 (Fall)), pages 365-439.
    8. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2007. "International Reserves: Precautionary Versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 191-214, April.
    9. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2004. "Smoothing sudden stops," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 104-127, November.
    10. Herrmann, Sabine & Mihaljek, Dubravko, 2010. "The determinants of cross-border bank flows to emerging markets: New empirical evidence on the spread of financial crises," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2010,17, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    11. Park, Donghyun & Estrada, Gemma, 2009. "Are Developing Asia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves Excessive? An Empirical Examination," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 170, Asian Development Bank.
    12. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh & Karl F Habermeier & Marcos Chamon & Mahvash S Qureshi & Dennis B. S. Reinhardt, 2010. "Capital Inflows; The Role of Controls," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/04, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Montiel, Peter & Reinhart, Carmen M., 1999. "Do capital controls and macroeconomic policies influence the volume and composition of capital flows? Evidence from the 1990s," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 619-635, August.
    14. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1991. "The Perils of Sterilization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 921-926, December.
    15. Charles Goodhart, 2010. "The changing role of central banks," BIS Working Papers 326, Bank for International Settlements.
    16. Paulo Gala, 2008. "Real exchange rate levels and economic development: theoretical analysis and econometric evidence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 273-288, March.
    17. Jose Antonio Cordero, 2009. "The IMF’s Stand-by Arrangements and the Economic Downturn in Eastern Europe: The Cases of Hungary, Latvia, and Ukraine," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2009-31, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    18. Martin Eichenbaum & Craig Burnside & Sergio Rebelo, 2007. "The Returns to Currency Speculation in Emerging Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 333-338, May.
    19. Yunyong Thaicharoen & Nasha Ananchotikul, 2008. "Thailand’s experiences with rising capital flows: recent challenges and policy responses," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Financial globalisation and emerging market capital flows, volume 44, pages 427-465 Bank for International Settlements.
    20. Plantin, Guillaume & Shin, Hyun Song, 2011. "Carry Trades, Monetary Policy and Speculative Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 8224, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. M S Mohanty & Philip Turner, 2005. "Intervention: what are the domestic consequences?," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Foreign exchange market intervention in emerging markets: motives, techniques and implications, volume 24, pages 56-81 Bank for International Settlements.
    22. Marion Kohler, 2010. "Exchange rates during financial crises," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    23. Charles Goodhart, 2010. "The Changing Role of Central Banks," FMG Special Papers sp197, Financial Markets Group.
    24. Firat Demir, 2009. "Volatility of Short-term Capital Flows and Private Investment in Emerging Markets," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(5), pages 672-692.
    25. Philip Turner, 2008. "Financial globalisation and emerging market capital flows," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Financial globalisation and emerging market capital flows, volume 44, pages 1-10 Bank for International Settlements.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    IMF; capital controls; financial crisis; global liquidity; shadow banks; sterilizations; central banks.;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:1109. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Felix Ritchie). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.