Summary of WP/95/31: “Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls”
  • 1 https://isni.org/isni/0000000404811396, International Monetary Fund

This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during January-June 1995 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201.

Abstract

This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during January-June 1995 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201.

This paper examines capital controls from a long-term perspective, it analyzes theoretically and empirically their determinants and their economic effects. With regard to the determinants of capital controls, the paper investigates whether certain political and structural features of an economy make the imposition or removal of capital controls more likely. With regard to the effects of foreign exchange restrictions, it investigates whether limitations on capital mobility, together with other economic, political, and institutional features, help explain the behavior of key macroeconomic variables, such as inflation, real interest rates, and growth.

The theoretical part of the paper presents a simple and widely used overlapping generations model. Although no formal test of propositions derived from the model is performed, the theoretical framework helps to identify some of the key issues examined in the empirical analysis. The empirical part of the paper is based on a panel of 61 developing and developed countries. Dummy variables are constructed from the IMF’s Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions as proxies for capital controls. These proxies include restrictions on payments for current and capital account transactions and multiple currency practices.

Several interesting empirical regularities are identified in the paper. Capital controls are more likely to be in place when income is low, the share of government in economic activity is large, the exchange rate is managed, and the government has a relatively free hand in monetary policy because the central bank is not very independent. As for the economic impact of capital controls, restrictions on capital account transactions tend to be associated with higher inflation, a higher share of seigniorage revenue in total revenue, and lower interest rates. This study finds no robust impact of capital controls on the rate of growth, although there is evidence that countries with large black-market premiums (themselves correlated with foreign exchange restrictions) grow more slowly.

Working Paper Summaries (WP/95/1 - WP/95/61)
Author: International Monetary Fund