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Capital controls: a normative analysis
Countries' concerns about the value of their currency have been studied and documented extensively in the literature. Capital controls can be?and often are?used as a tool to manage exchange rate fluctuations. This paper investigates whether countries can benefit from using such a tool. We develop a welfare-based analysis of whether (or, in fact, how) countries should tax international borrowing. Our results suggest that restricting international capital flows through the use of these taxes can be beneficial for individual countries, although it would limit cross-border pooling of risk. The ...
A model of the Twin Ds: optimal default and devaluation
This paper characterizes jointly optimal default and exchange-rate policy in a small open economy with limited enforcement of debt contracts and downward nominal wage rigidity. Under optimal policy, default occurs during contractions and is accompanied by large devaluations. The latter inflate away real wages, thereby avoiding massive unemployment. Thus, the Twin Ds phenomenon emerges endogenously as the optimal outcome. In contrast, under fixed exchange rates, optimal default takes place in the context of large involuntary unemployment. Fixed-exchange-rate economies are shown to have ...
Sudden Stops and Optimal Foreign Exchange Intervention
This paper shows how foreign exchange intervention can be used to avoid a sudden stop in capital flows in a small open emerging market economy. The model is based around the concept of an under-borrowing equilibrium defined by Schmitt-Grohe and Uribe (2020). With a low elasticity of substitution between traded and non-traded goods, real exchange rate depreciation may generate a precipitous drop in aggregate demand and a tightening of borrowing constraints, leading to an equilibrium with an inefficiently low level of borrowing. The central bank can preempt this deleveraging cycle through ...
Foreign Exchange Reserves as a Tool for Capital Account Management
Many recent theoretical papers have argued that countries can insulate themselves from volatile world capital flows by using a variable tax on foreign capital as an instrument of monetary policy. But at the same time many empirical papers have argued that only rarely do we observe these cyclical capital taxes used in practice. In this paper we construct a small open economy model where the central bank can engage in sterilized foreign exchange intervention. When private agents can freely buy and sell foreign bonds, sterilized foreign exchange intervention has no effect. But we analytically ...