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 some of the basic patterns of international capital flows to emerging markets in recent years, including the composition of capital flows, intraregional flow patterns, and the geographical distribution of the flows. A theoretical model that sheds new light on these observed patterns is developed. This model focuses on the cost of financing aspect of capital flows, and shows that the patterns of capital flows are influenced by the combined effects of financial market development and growth potential in the recipient countries. The theoretical predictions of the model are shown to be consistent with the stylized facts.