Foreign Capital Flows to Emerging Markets: a Test of Policy Arbitrage

Anand ShettyJohn Manley

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Private capital that dominated the foreign capital inflows to emerging markets in the 1990s has been linked to recent financial crises in these markets. This linkage has raised questions about the market’s ability to discipline the flow of capital to emerging markets and the role of policy arbitrage. Policy-arbitrage hypothesis states that international capital flows will arbitrage across national economic policies in search of sound markets. This paper examines the pattern of changes in the foreign capital inflows to emerging markets in the 1990s and tests the policy-arbitrage hypothesis using 22 country-data for a period immediately following the Mexican peso crisis. The test results support the policy-arbitrage hypothesis.

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Round Building

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