Summary of Opening Up to Inequity

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Opening Up to Inequity summary
Unfettered cross-border flows of capital increase inequality and financial volatility.


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Policy makers have struggled with the issue of capital account convertibility for generations. In the past, the International Monetary Fund treated the economic growth benefits of free capital flows as an act of faith. But by 2012, the IMF’s understanding of the subject had become far more nuanced. It continues to advocate convertibility, yet it acknowledges that governments need to consider the downsides. In this informative research report, IMF economists Davide Furceri and Prakash Loungani explain why convertibility can worsen financial volatility and income distribution, and they offer cautionary counsel on how governments can lessen the adverse effects of capital mobility. getAbstract recommends this concise but well-argued article to policy makers, central bankers and investors.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What different positions policy makers have taken on capital account convertibility
  • How liberalizing the movement of capital across borders can affect a country’s income distribution and risk of financial crises


In theory, countries stand to gain from the free cross-border movement of capital. In the past, the International Monetary Fund promoted capital account convertibility to boost economic growth. For instance, at its October 1997 annual meeting, a senior IMF official called liberalization “an inevitable...
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About the Authors

Davide Furceri is an economist at the International Monetary Fund, where Prakash Loungani is a division chief.

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