Capital Controls, Sudden Stops and Current Account Reversals
NBER Working Paper No. 11170
In this paper I use a broad multi-country data set to analyze the relationship between restrictions to capital mobility and external crises. The analysis focuses on two manifestations of external crises: (a) sudden stops of capital inflows; and (b) current account reversals. I deal with two important policy-related issues: First, does the extent of capital mobility affect countries' degree of vulnerability to external crises; and second, does the extent of capital mobility determine the depth of external crises -- as measured by the decline in growth -- once the crises occur? Overall, my results cast some doubts on the assertion that increased capital mobility has caused heightened macroeconomic vulnerabilities. I find no systematic evidence suggesting that countries with higher capital mobility tend to have a higher incidence of crises, or tend to face a higher probability of having a crisis, than countries with lower mobility. My results do suggest, however, that once a crisis occurs, countries with higher capital mobility may face a higher cost, in terms of growth decline.
Published: Capital Controls, Sudden Stops, and Current Account Reversals, Sebastian Edwards, in Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences (2007), University of Chicago Press