Capital Flow Data - a Guide for Empirical Analysis and Real-Time Tracking

48 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2020

Date Written: August 2020


This paper provides an analytical overview of the most widely used capital flow datasets. The paper is written as a guide for academics who embark on empirical research projects and for policymakers who need timely information on capital flow developments to inform their decisions. We address common misconceptions about capital flow data and discuss differences between high-frequency proxies for portfolio flows. In a nowcasting 'horse race' we show that high-frequency proxies have significant predictive content for portfolio flows from the balance of payments (BoP). We also construct a new dataset for academic use, consisting of monthly portfolio flows broadly consistent with BoP data.

Keywords: Capital flows, Stocks, Balance of payments statistics, Flow of funds, Emerging and frontier financial markets, WP, flow data, portfolio flow, debt flow, flow proxy, IMF balance of payments statistic

JEL Classification: F21, F32, F37, G15, G23, E10, G10

Suggested Citation

Paetzold, Simon, Capital Flow Data - a Guide for Empirical Analysis and Real-Time Tracking (August 2020). IMF Working Paper No. 20/171, Available at SSRN:

Simon Paetzold

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323

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