Capital Flow Waves: Surges, Stops, Flights and Retranchment
59 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2012
Date Written: August 5, 2011
This paper analyzes the drivers of international waves in capital flows. We build on the literature on “sudden stops” and “bonanzas” to develop a new methodology for identifying episodes of extreme capital flow movements using quarterly data on gross inflows and gross outflows, differentiating activity by foreigners and domestics. We identify episodes of “surge”, “stop”, “flight”, and “retrenchment” and show how our approach yields fundamentally different results than the previous literature that used measures of net flows. Global factors, especially global risk, are the most important determinants of these episodes. Contagion, especially through trade and the bilateral exposure of banking systems, is important in determining stop and retrenchment episodes. Domestic macroeconomic characteristics are generally less important, although changes in domestic economic growth influence episodes caused by foreigners. We find little role for capital controls in reducing capital flow waves. The results help provide insights for different theoretical approaches explaining crises and capital flow volatility.
Keywords: capital flows, sudden stops, bonanzas, surges, global financial crisis, risk, capital controls, pull versus push
JEL Classification: F21, F3, F4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation