Capital Flows are Fickle: Anytime, Anywhere
38 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2013
Date Written: August 2013
Has the unprecedented financial globalization of recent years changed the behavior of capital flows across countries? Using a newly constructed database of gross and net capital flows since 1980 for a sample of nearly 150 countries, this paper finds that private capital flows are typically volatile for all countries, advanced or emerging, across all points in time. This holds true across most types of flows, including bank, portfolio debt, and equity flows. Advanced economies enjoy a greater substitutability between types of inflows, and complementarity between gross inflows and outflows, than do emerging markets, which reduces the volatility of their total net inflows despite higher volatility of the components. Capital flows also exhibit low persistence, across all economies and across most types of flows. Inflows tend to rise temporarily when global financing conditions are relatively easy. These findings suggest that fickle capital flows are an unavoidable fact of life to which policymakers across all countries need to continue to manage and adapt.
Keywords: Capital flows, Globalization, Developed countries, Developing countries, Cross country analysis, international capital flows, volatility, persistence, comovement, global factors, net capital flows, capital inflows, private capital flows, risk aversion, volatility of capital flows, capital outflows, private flows, capital movements, capital mobility, management of capital flows, composition of capital inflows, border capital flows, current account balance, capital flow volatility, measures of volatility, flows of debt, government bonds, current account deficit, capital flow reversals, short-term capital, moral hazard
JEL Classification: F32, F21, O16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation