The Welfare Cost of Capital Controls
This paper examines the macroeconomic implications of capital controls that limit international financial flows to emerging economies. Using extended loanable funds analysis, it first demonstrates how perfect capital mobility contributes to development, contrary to a prevalent view that international borrowing is inimical to the economic welfare of developing economies. As a corollary, the analysis then shows that capital controls, irrespective of form, generally reduce development potential and economic welfare by widening real cross-border interest differentials. Capital controls in the form of quantitative controls, such as the Chilean unremunerated reserve requirement system, and explicit taxes on foreign investment flows impose similar welfare losses. However, quantitative controls are relatively more costly than options to tax capital flows, due to revenue effects.
Economic Analysis and Policy
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