Short-Term Capital Flows
NBER Working Paper No. 7364
We provide a conceptual and empirical framework for evaluating the effects of short-term capital flows. A simple model of the joint determination of the maturity and cost of external borrowing highlights the role played by self-fulfilling crises. The model also specifies the circumstances under which short-term debt accumulation is socially excessive. The empirical analysis shows that the short-term debt to reserves ratio is a robust predictor of financial crises, and that greater short-term exposure is associated with more severe crises when capital flows reverse. Higher levels of M2/GDP and per-capita income are associated with shorter-term maturities of external debt. The level of international trade does not seem to have any relationship with levels of short-term indebtedness, which suggests that trade credit plays an insignificant role in driving short-term capital flows. Our policy analysis focuses on ways in which potential illiquidity can be avoided.
Published: Pleskovic, Boris and Joseph E. Stiglitz. Annual World Bank Conference on Development Economics. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2000.