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Are Capital Flows Fickle? Increasingly? And Does the Answer Still Depend on Type?

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Working Paper Series – Policy Research Working Papers, February 2017

According to conventional wisdom, capital flows are fickle. Focusing on emerging markets, this paper asks whether this conventional wisdom still holds in the contemporary world. The results show that, despite recent structural and regulatory changes, much of it survives. FDI inflows are more stable than non-FDI inflows. Within non-FDI inflows, portfolio debt and bank-intermediated flows remain the most volatile. While FDI inflows are driven mainly by pull factors, portfolio debt and equity are driven mainly by push factors; and bank-intermediated flows are driven by a combination of push and pull factors. But capital outflows from emerging markets behave differently. FDI outflows from emerging markets have grown and become significantly more volatile. There is similarly an increase in the volatility of bank-intermediated capital outflows from emerging markets. The findings underscore that outflows from emerging markets, both FDI and bank-related flows, have come to play a growing role and warrant greater attention from analysts and policy makers.

URL: http://elibrary.worldbank.org/action/showPublications?PubType=type-working-papers&SeriesKey=prwp

Courtesy: World Bank

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