The Role of Capital Controls
Author: Prema-chandra Athukoralge
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Category: Business & Economics
'Professor Athukorala tells a fascinating story of one of the most successful economies in the world economy in the last decades, from the inception of its liberalisation policy to its radical decision to pursue an independent recovery path after the 1997 Asian financial crisis. This is case-study economics at its best. The book is superbly organised, meticulously researched and clearly written; a treat for professional economists and policymakers alike.' - Tony Thirlwall, University of Kent, UK 'Malaysia is one of the great success stories of the last quarter of the twentieth century. From 1988 it had one of the highest growth rates in the world, and it managed to maintain ethnic peace in an undoubtedly difficult environment. Recently it has provided a major laboratory experiment of the use of capital controls at a time of crisis when a country is highly integrated in the world capital market. This excellent book presents the first careful analysis of the nature and effects of these controls, as well as providing a thorough background of how the Asian crisis played out in Malaysia.' - W.Max Corden, The Johns Hopkins University, US In the light of the Malaysian experience during the Asian financial crisis, this book examines the role of international capital mobility in making countries susceptible to financial crises and the use of capital controls as a crisis management tool. Malaysia provides an interesting case study of this subject given its significant capital market liberalisation prior to the onset of the crisis, and its fundamental shift in crisis management policy in September 1998. The prime focus of the book is on Malaysia's radical policy decision to pursue an independent recovery path, cut off from world markets by a system of capital control, as a viable alternative to the conventional market centred approach. The analysis suggests that, against the initial dire predictions of many economists, the capital controls have actually played a crucial supportive role in crisis management. Whether the controls have played a special role in delivering a superior recovery outcome in Malaysia compared to IMF-program countries remains a point of contention. However, there is strong evidence to suggest that this pragmatic policy choice was instrumental in achieving recovery, while minimising potential economic disruption and related social costs.