The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Leslie Lipschitz, Alex Mourmouras, and Timothy Lane
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This paper discusses the forces driving capital flows in the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It argues that various influences-specifically, the real exchange rate history and trend and the factor intensity of production-can combine to motivate very large capital inflows. These inflows can either undermine attempts at monetary restraint or force excessive appreciations. They can also render the economy highly vulnerable to shifts in market sentiment. The policy implications of the analysis are awkward: exposure to global capital markets sets up difficult dilemmas for policy and leads to vulnerabilities that can be reduced but not eliminated.