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Capital account liberalization as a signal
This paper presents a model in which a government's current capital controls policy signals future policies. Controls on capital outflows evolve in response to news on technology, contingent on government attitudes toward taxation of capital. When there is uncertainty over government types, a policy of liberal capital outflows sends a positive signal that may trigger a capital inflow. This prediction is consistent with the experience of several countries that have recently liberalized their capital accounts.
When liberal policies reflect external shocks, what do we learn?
We present a model where policies of free capital mobility can signal governments' future policies, but the informativeness of the signal depends on the path of world interest rates. Capital flows to "emerging markets" reflect investors' perception of these markets' political risk. With low world interest rates, emerging markets experience a capital inflow and engage in a widespread policy of free capital mobility, whereas others impose controls to trap capital onshore, thus signaling future policies affecting capital mobility. These predictions are consistent with the recent experience of ...