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 reviews the experience with capital controls in industrial and developing countries, considers the policy issues raised when the effectiveness of capital controls diminishes, examines the medium-term benefits and costs of an open capital account, and analyzes the policy measures that could help sustain capital account convertibility. As the effectiveness of capital controls eroded more rapidly in the 1980s than in earlier periods, new constraints were placed on the formulation of stabilization and structural reform programs. However, experience suggests that certain macroeconomic, financial, and risk management policies would allow countries to attain the benefits of capital account convertibility and reduce the financial risks created by an open capital account.