The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper considers the effect of exchange and capital controls on trade in the gravity-equation framework, in which bilateral exports depend on the distance between countries, the countries’ size and wealth, tariff barriers, and exchange and capital controls. The extent of exchange and capital controls is measured by unique indices. In view of the degree to which countries have liberalized their exchange systems, controls on current payments and transfers are found to be a minor impediment to trade, while capital controls significantly reduce exports into developing and transition economies. Thus, further capital account liberalization could significantly foster trade.