IPS WORKING PAPERS No. 3
Though there has been much general debate recently about the pros and cons of capital controls, there remains substantial confusion and uncertainty about what exactly is entailed by the term restraining global capital flows. Popular discussion around this has typically been long on rhetoric and loose generalisations and acutely short on specifics. The aim of this paper is therefore to help refine the debate somewhat by clarifying and systematically categorising the various concepts that have been discussed in policy circles and the popular media. Two specific country experiences with restraining capital flows, viz. Chile and Malaysia are highlighted and discussed, as are the recent and muchpublicised proposals for exchange controls (a la Paul Krugman) and a global currency transactions tax in the forms of a Tobin tax.