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The New Economics of Prudential Capital Controls: A Research Agenda

Anton Korinek

IMF Economic Review, 2011, vol. 59, issue 3, 523-561

Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to the new economics of prudential capital controls in emerging economies. This literature is based on the notion that there are externalities associated with financial crises because individual market participants do not internalize their contribution to aggregate financial instability. We describe financial crises as situations in which an emerging economy loses access to international financial markets and experiences a feedback loop in which declining aggregate demand, falling exchange rates and asset prices, and deteriorating balance sheets mutually reinforce each other—a common phenomenon in recent emerging market crises. Individual market participants take aggregate prices and financial conditions as given and do not internalize their contribution to financial instability when they choose their actions. As a result they impose externalities in the form of greater financial instability on each other, and the private financing decisions of individuals are distorted toward excessive risk-taking. Prudential capital controls can induce private agents to internalize their externalities and thereby increase macroeconomic stability and enhance welfare.

Date: 2011
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