Staff Position Notes (SPNs) showcase new policy-related analysis and research by IMF departments. These notes are generally brief, written in nontechnical language, and are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues, including staff involved in mission work, members of the Executive Board, and persons outside the Fund. This series replaced the Policy Discussion Papers series at the end of 2008. Most SPNs are around 25 pages, allowing for only a couple of simple equations and several tables and charts, which distinguishes them from the longer, and generally more technical, Working Papers.
Jonathan Ostry, Atish Ghosh, Karl Habermeier, Marcos Chamon, Mahvash Qureshi, and Dennis B. S. Reinhardt
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
With the global economy beginning to emerge from the financial crisis, capital is flowing back to emerging market countries (EMEs). These flows, and capital mobility more generally, allow countries with limited savings to attract financing for productive investment projects, foster the diversification of investment risk, promote intertemporal trade, and contribute to the development of financial markets. In this sense, the benefits from a free flow of capital across borders are similar to the benefits from free trade (see Reaping the Benefits of Financial Globalization, IMF Occasional Paper 264, 2008), and imposing restrictions on capital mobility means foregoing, at least in part, these benefits, owing to the distortions and resource misallocation that controls give rise to (see Edwards and Ostry, 1992, for an example of how capital controls interact with other distortions in the economy).