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Professor Klein Examines "Capital Controls: Gates versus Walls"

Brookings Papers on Economic Activity

This paper examines the pattern of controls on capital inflows, and the association of these controls on financial variables, GDP, and exchange rates. A key point of the paper is the distinction between long-standing controls on a broad range of assets (walls) and episodic controls that are imposed and removed, and tend to be on a narrower set of assets (gates). Estimates show significant differences in the partial correlations of long-standing and episodic controls with the growth of financial variables and with GDP growth, but these differences seem to arise because countries with long-standing controls are poorer than the other countries in the sample. With a few exceptions, there is little evidence of the efficacy of capital controls on the growth of financial variables, the real exchange rate, or GDP growth at an annual frequency. These preliminary results raise doubts about assumptions behind recent calls for a greater use of episodic controls on capital inflows.

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