Capital Controls and International Interest Rate Differentials

Since the Asian crises it is often taken as granted that capital markets have significant functional deficits. Often these deficits are believed to be so very strong that the ability of free capital markets to guarantee a more or less correct international allocation of capital is denied. It is argued that speculation dominates capital markets so much that capital allocation is purely random. This is one of the major arguments backing the present trend to re-establish capital controls, which emerged after the capital market distortions observed during the Asian flu. In the present article it is shown that capital markets, while certainly prone to many distortions, are well capable of roughly guiding capital to the proper place. Though allocation is not model-like perfect, this steals the thunder from the idea, that closed or government-guided capital markets were able to perform better.

18. January 2010

Authors Makram El-Shagi

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