Olivier Blanchard, Jonathan D. Ostry, 11 December 2012

The IMF recently endorsed capital controls as useful policy responses to certain circumstances. This column explains the logic and the research that underpins the shift.

Yothin Jinjarak, Ilan Noy, Huanhuan Zheng, 22 November 2012

Capital controls are experiencing a renaissance, due in part to the current financial crisis. But do they really have an effect? This column assesses the Brazilian experience, arguing that policies may be more politically or electorally convenient than effective in any economic sense. It seems policymakers understand capital controls’ relative economic impotence, but nevertheless feel forced to resort to adopting them.

Ila Patnaik, Ajay Shah, 20 November 2012

Can we agree that capital controls are an effective tool for macroeconomic policy? If so, should they be permanent or temporary? This column argues that under a permanent system of capital controls, a country will always bear costs whether there is a surge or capital flight or not. Looking at the Indian experience, it’s clear that capital controls do not necessarily help a government meet its macroeconomic goals in times of need.

John Williamson, Olivier Jeanne, Arvind Subramanian, 11 June 2012

Do we need international rules for capital controls? This column looks at the different regimes in countries such as Brazil and China and argues that we do.

Jon Danielsson, Ragnar Arnason, 14 November 2011

The IMF has emerged from the global crisis bigger and more powerful. But this column argues that the capital controls it required Iceland to adopt in 2008 are not of the soft and cuddly modern type that slow hot money flows. Instead they are akin to the draconian controls common in the 1950s. They violate the civil rights of Icelanders and significantly hamper economic growth.

Friðrik Már Baldursson, 08 November 2011

During the global crisis, Iceland was hit by the biggest banking crisis any country has ever suffered. This column reviews the role of the IMF in Iceland’s recovery. It argues that the IMF programme was not perfectly designed but successful. Iceland re-entered capital markets less than three years after the crisis.

Marcel Fratzscher, 23 August 2011

Capital flows are booming—rising to unprecedented magnitudes since the global crisis. What should policymakers do to avoid the vagaries of such fickle flows? This column argues that while there are global factors, much of the flows to emerging markets stem from nation-specific “pull” factors. This suggests that policy responses should focus on improving institutions, deepening financial markets, and enhancing macroeconomic and prudential policies.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 01 June 2011

The global crisis has brought many countries to their knees, none more so than the small island of Iceland whose losses amount to seven times its GDP. Yet while Iceland’s recovery has in many ways been remarkable, this column argues that the country’s capital controls stand in the way of further progress.

Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, Nicolas Magud, 24 March 2011

Capital controls are back on the table. But the existing literature offers conflicting and sometimes confusing insights. This column provides a meta-analysis of 37 empirical studies with the aim of exposing some common ground. It finds that capital controls on inflows make monetary policy more independent, alter the composition of capital flows, reduce real-exchange-rate pressures, but they do not reduce the volume of net flows.

Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 20 January 2011

The global crisis has reignited debate on the desirability of capital controls. This column examines evidence from Argentina and Chile and argues that capital controls can be effective, but that their effectiveness and efficiency varies. It adds that controls need to be considered as part of a macro-prudential toolkit to prevent asset inflation and overvaluation that is costly to revert in the down cycle.

Jeffrey Chwieroth, 19 March 2010

Jeffrey Chwieroth of the London School of Economics talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the evolution of economic ideas at the International Monetary Fund, drawing on his book, ‘Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization’. They discuss changes in IMF thinking about capital controls, the Tobin tax and macroeconomic policy – as well the possibility of IMF intervention in Greece. The interview was recorded in London on 16 March 2010.

Willem Buiter, 20 February 2009

It looks like capital controls for central and eastern European countries as well as emerging markets everywhere. This column argues that imposing capital outflow controls – while sometimes unavoidable – discourages future capital inflows and creates rents. This is why they should be explicitly made temporary.

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Events

  • 17 - 18 August 2019 / Peking University, Beijing / Chinese University of Hong Kong – Tsinghua University Joint Research Center for Chinese Economy, the Institute for Emerging Market Studies at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, the Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development at Stanford University, the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, BREAD, NBER and CEPR
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