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What factors appear to drive private capital flows to developing countries? and how does official lending respond?


  • Dasgupta, Dipak
  • Ratha, Dilip


The authors study what drives private capital flows to developing countries, as well as the apparent response of official lending for the years 1978-97. Econometric results reveal that non-foreign direct investment portfolio flows to a country tended to rise in response to: 1) An increase in the current account deficit. 2) A rise in foreign direct investment flows. 3) Higher per capita income. 4) Growth performance. Once those variables were accounted for, private flows did not seem to be influenced by location, and regional factors. In addition, private capital flows (whether foreign direct investment or not) seem to respond positively (with a one-year lag) to World Bank lending commitments. By far the most important determinant of official lending to a developing country, seems to be the external current account balance, or a change in international reserves in the country. Official flows - including World Bank lending - appear to have played a stabilizing (or counter-cyclical) role in response to the volatility of private capital flows, and fluctuations in commodity prices, and GDP growth. (The stabilizing effect is weak, as official flows are only one-tenth of total long-term flows).

Suggested Citation

  • Dasgupta, Dipak & Ratha, Dilip, 2000. "What factors appear to drive private capital flows to developing countries? and how does official lending respond?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2392, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2392

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reinhart, Carmen & Montiel, Peter, 2001. "The Dynamics of Capital Movements to Emerging Economies During the 1990s," MPRA Paper 7577, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chuhan, Punam & Claessens, Stijn & Mamingi, Nlandu, 1998. "Equity and bond flows to Latin America and Asia: the role of global and country factors," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 439-463, April.
    3. Guillermo A. Calvo & Leonardo Leiderman & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1993. "Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(1), pages 108-151, March.
    4. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    5. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Why is there Multilateral Lending?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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