Capital Controls and the Real Exchange Rate

30 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2006 Last revised: 16 Jul 2010

See all articles by Sweder van Wijnbergen

Sweder van Wijnbergen

Universiteit van Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 1989

Abstract

Using an intertemporal, two-country general equilibrium model, I demonstrate that international asymmetries in expenditure patterns determine the real exchange rate effects of capital controls. Capital import taxes lower world interest rates, but raise home interest rates. These changes in interest rates bring about a change in the composition of world expenditure, with a shift of home expenditure from the present ('today') to the future ('tomorrow'), and a shift of foreign aggregate expenditure from tomorrow to today. If the pattern of expenditure across commodities is the same at home and abroad, the change in the composition of world expenditure has no effects on the (excess) demand for any particular commodity. Therefore, with identical expenditure patterns at home and abroad, the imposition of capital controls has no effect on the real exchange rate. However, when consumers have a preference for domestically produced goods, the shift in composition of world expenditure caused by interest rate changes implies a decline in demand today for home goods. In that case, capital controls lower the real exchange rate. Of course, in period two the reverse happens. This result is mitigated when the country imposing capital controls is a large debtor.

Suggested Citation

van Wijnbergen, Sweder, Capital Controls and the Real Exchange Rate (April 1989). NBER Working Paper No. w2940. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=461379

Sweder Van Wijnbergen (Contact Author)

Universiteit van Amsterdam ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4011 / 4203 (Phone)
+31-35-624 91 82 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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