NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Capital Controls, Capital Flow Contractions, and Macroeconomic Vulnerability

Sebastian Edwards

NBER Working Paper No. 12852
Issued in January 2007
NBER Program(s):   IFM

In this paper I analyze whether restrictions to capital mobility reduce vulnerability to external shocks. More specifically, I ask if countries that restrict the free flow of international capital have a lower probability of experiencing a large contraction in net capital flows. I use three new indexes on the degree of international financial integration and a large multi-country data set for 1970-2004 to estimate a series of random-effect probit equations. I find that the marginal effect of higher capital mobility on the probability of a capital flow contraction is positive and statistically significant, but very small. Having a flexible exchange rate greatly reduces the probability of experiencing a capital flow contraction. The benefits of flexible rates increase as the degree of capital mobility increases. A higher current account deficit increases the probability of a capital flow contraction, while a higher ratio of FDI to GDP reduces that probability.

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Published: Edwards, Sebastian, 2007. "Capital controls, capital flow contractions, and macroeconomic vulnerability," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 814-840, September.

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