The IMF’s approach to capital account liberalization: evaluation report/[prepared by a team headed by Shinji Takagi and including Jeffrey Allen Chelsky … [et al]—[Washington, D.C.]: International Monetary Fund, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Capital movements. 2. International Monetary Fund—Evaluation. I. Takagi, Shinji, 1953– II. Chelsky, Jeffrey Allen. III. International Monetary Fund, Independent Evaluation Office.
The IMF’s Approach to Capital Account Liberalization
The Scope of the Evaluation
Sources of Evidence
Organization of the Report
2 General Policy and Analysis
The Legal Basis
General Operational Approach
3 Advice to Member Countries, 1990–2002
Capital Account Liberalization
Macroeconomic and Structural Policies to Manage Capital Inflows
Temporary Use of Capital Controls
4 Ongoing Country Dialogue on Capital Account Issues
Capital Account Liberalization
Temporary Use of Capital Controls
5 Major Findings and Recommendations
1.1. The Debate on the Benefits of Capital Account Liberalization
1.2. Effectiveness of Market-Based Capital Controls: Evidence from Chile
1.3. Capital Account Liberalization in Indonesia and Korea
2.1. The Proposal to Amend the Articles of Agreement
2.2. Mexico: Capital Account Liberalization and the Crisis of 1994–95
2.3. Chile: The IMF’s Views on the Use of Market-Based Controls on Inflows
3.2. Outflow Controls in Thailand (1997) and Malaysia (1998)
4.2. Technical Assistance
4.3. The IMF’s “Integrated” Approach to Capital Account Liberalization
1.1. Private Capital Flows to Developing Countries
1.2. Countries with Capital Controls
1.3. Countries with Capital Controls
1.4. Average Capital Account Openness in 12 Sample Countries
2.1. Net Capital Inflows to Developing Countries
3.1. Fiscal Performance and the IMF’s Fiscal Policy Advice in Selected Countries, 1990–2002
3.2. IMF Support for Exchange Rate Flexibility in Selected Countries, 1990–2002
2.1. Notable Events Affecting Capital Account Issues, 1991–2004
3.1. The Nature of the IMF’s Advice on Capital Account Liberalization in Selected Countries
3.2. The IMF’s Advice on Managing Large Capital Inflows, 1990–2002
3.3. Fiscal and Other Macroeconomic Indicators in Selected Countries with Large Capital Inflows, 1990–2002
3.4. The IMF’s Position on Temporary Use of Capital Controls, 1991–2001
4.1. Policy Environments for Capital Account Liberalization in Selected Countries
1 A More Detailed Assessment of Some Country Cases
The Czech Republic: Liberalization in a Transition Economy
Colombia: Market-Based Controls on Inflows
Venezuela: Use of Capital Controls on Outflows
Tunisia: Gradual Liberalization
2 Staff Research
Early Work on Capital Controls and Capital Flow Management
Later Work on Capital Controls
Work on Sequencing
More Recent Work
3 Public Communications
4 Cross-Border Capital Transactions and Capital Account Openness in Selected Countries, 1989–2002
5 Capital Account Openness in 12 Sample Countries, 1990–2002
6 List of Interviewees
A1.1. Czech Republic: Capital Account Openness and Net Private Capital Inflows
A1.2. Colombia: Capital Account Openness and Net Private Capital Inflows
A1.3. Venezuela: Capital Account Openness and Net Private Capital Inflows
A1.4. Tunisia: Capital Account Openness and Net Private Capital Inflows
A1.1. Colombia: The Unremunerated Reserve Requirement, 1993–2000
Statement by the Managing Director, IMF Staff Response, IEO Comments on Management/Staff Response, and Summing Up of IMF Executive Board Discussion by the Acting Chair
Statement by the Managing Director
IMF Staff Response
IEO Comments on Management/Staff Response
Summing Up of IMF Executive Board Discussion by the Acting Chair
The following symbols have been used throughout this report:
– between years or months (e.g. 2003–04 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
/ between years (e.g. 2003/04) to indicate a fiscal (financial) year.
“Billion” means a thousand million.
Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.
Some of the documents cited and referenced in this report were not available to the public at the time of publication of this report. Under the current policy on public access to the IMF’s archives, some of these documents will become available five years after their issuance. They may be referenced as EBS/YY/NN and SM/YY/NN, where EBS and SM indicate the series and YY indicates the year of issue. Certain other documents are to become available ten or twenty years after their issuance depending on the series.
This report reviews the IMF’s approach to capital account liberalization and related issues, drawing on evidence from a sample of emerging market economies over the period 1990–2004. The role of the IMF in capital account liberalization has been a topic of major controversy. An independent evaluation of the IMF’s advice on capital account issues is therefore both timely and appropriate.
The evaluation seeks to contribute to transparency by documenting what in practice has been the IMF’s approach to capital account liberalization and related issues and to identify areas where the IMF’s instruments and operating methods might be improved, in order to deal with capital account issues more effectively. The report deals not only with capital account liberalization per se but also with capital flow management issues, including particularly the temporary use of capital controls.
Capital account liberalization is an area where there is little professional consensus, making it difficult to evaluate the IMF’s policy advice against some universal set of criteria. Moreover, the IMF Articles of Agreement give the IMF only limited jurisdiction over the capital account, with the result that the IMF had no formal policy on most capital account issues during the period under review. For these reasons, the evaluation assesses the IMF’s actual approach to these issues, identifying what policy advice the IMF gave in the context of a specific country at a specific point in time.
The report begins by reviewing the IMF’s general operational approach and analysis as they evolved from the early 1990s into the early 2000s. It then assesses the IMF’s country work in terms of (1) its role in capital account liberalization during 1990–2002, (2) its policy advice to member countries on managing capital flows during the same period, and (3) its ongoing work on capital account issues in a group of emerging market economies during 2003–04. The report concludes by offering two broad recommendations. First, as noted in the original terms of reference, the evaluation does not seek to make a judgment on whether the Articles of Agreement should be amended to give the IMF an explicit mandate and jurisdiction on capital account issues, since this is an issue that goes well beyond the scope of the evaluation evidence. However, the report does conclude that greater clarity on the IMF’s approach to capital account issues is needed and makes a number of suggestions as to how this might be achieved. Second, the report supports greater attention by the IMF’s analysis and surveillance to the supply-side factors of international capital flows, a process that is already under way.
The report was discussed by the IMF Executive Board on May 11, 2005. In keeping with established practice, the report is being published as submitted to the Board, except for minor factual corrections. This volume also includes the response of IMF management and staff to the evaluation, the IEO response, and the Summing Up of the Board discussion.
Independent Evaluation Office
The report was prepared by a team headed by Shinji Takagi and including Jeffrey Allen Chelsky, Edna Armendariz, Misa Takebe, and Halim Kucur. It also benefited from substantive contributions from Rawi Abdelal, Masahiro Kawai, David Peretz, Jai Won Ryou, and participants in a workshop held at the Institute for International Economics—William Cline, Morris Goldstein, Michael Mussa, Edwin Truman, and John Williamson. Administrative support by Annette Canizares, Arun Bhatnagar, and Maria S. Gutierrez, and editorial work by Ian McDonald and Esha Ray are gratefully acknowledged. The report was approved by David Goldsbrough, Acting Director of the IEO.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
American Depository Receipt
Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions (IMF)