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Foreign Capital and Economic Growth

64 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2007 Last revised: 19 Sep 2010

Eswar S. Prasad

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; Cornell University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; NBER; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Raghuram G. Rajan

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; International Monetary Fund (IMF); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Arvind Subramanian

International Monetary Fund (IMF); Center for Global Development

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2007

Abstract

We document the recent phenomenon of "uphill" flows of capital from nonindustrial to industrial countries and analyze whether this pattern of capital flows has hurt growth in nonindustrial economies that export capital. Surprisingly, we find that there is a positive correlation between current account balances and growth among nonindustrial countries, implying that a reduced reliance on foreign capital is associated with higher growth. This result is weaker when we use panel data rather than cross-sectional averages over long periods of time, but in no case do we find any evidence that an increase in foreign capital inflows directly boosts growth. What explains these results, which are contrary to the predictions of conventional theoretical models? We provide some evidence that even successful developing countries have limited absorptive capacity for foreign resources, either because their financial markets are underdeveloped, or because their economies are prone to overvaluation caused by rapid capital inflows.

Suggested Citation

Prasad, Eswar S. and Rajan, Raghuram G. and Subramanian, Arvind, Foreign Capital and Economic Growth (November 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13619. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1033745

Eswar S. Prasad

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

440 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://prasad.aem.cornell.edu

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution ( email )

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NBER ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Raghuram G. Rajan (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-4437 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
773-702-9299 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

Arvind Subramanian

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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