Capital Controls or Real Exchange Rate Policy?: A Pecuniary Externality Perspective
Benigno, Gianluca; Chen, Huigang; Otrok, Christopher; Rebucci, Alessandro; Young, Eric R.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, a new policy paradigm has emerged in which old-fashioned policies such as capital controls and other government distortions have become part of the standard policy tool kit (so called macro- prudential policies). On the wave of this seemingly unanimous policy consensus, a new strand of theoretical literature contends that capital controls are welfare enhancing and can be justified rigorously because of second-best considerations. Within the same theoretical framework adopted in this fast-growing literature, this paper shows that a credible commitment to support the exchange rate in crisis times always welfare-dominates prudential capital controls, as it can achieve unconstrained allocation.