IMF ne preneha s presenečenji – v smislu, da nima več ideoloških težav, da bi spodbujal raziskave in objave ugotovitev svojih raziskovalcev, ki kažejo tudi negativne plati globalizacije. Tokrat sta Furceri & Loungani (ki se ju še najbrž spomnite iz raziskav o vplivu varčevanja na neenakost in vplivu sindikatov na manjšo neenakost) objavila raziskavo, ki kaže, da ima liberalizacija finančnih (kapitalskih) lahko negativne učinke na povečanje neenakosti. Vendar je vpliv na povečanje neenakosti manjši v državah, ki imajo nizko razvit finančni sistem in državah, katerim se je uspelo izogniti finančnim krizam. Kot kažejo druge raziskave, namreč obdobjem povečane liberalizacije finančnih tokov običajno (ali pogosteje) sledijo finančne krize.
Zato je na mestu svarilo IMF, liberalizacija finančnih tokov zaradi njihove velike volatilnosti in velikosti glede na domače gospodarstvo, s seboj nosi tudi velike rizike za gospodarsko in finančno stabilnost, zato bi način liberalizacije morale države ustrezno dizajnirati, da zmanjšajo potencialne rizike.
Using a data set for nearly 150 countries from 1970 to 2010, we show that increases in capital account liberalization are followed by increases in inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient. However, we also show two channels where evidence of this association is limited: First, the impact of liberalization on inequality is smaller for countries with higher levels of financial development and inclusion. Second, the impact is also smaller in cases where the liberalization is not followed by a crisis. These results are consistent with the IMF’s institutional view that “capital flow liberalization is generally more beneficial and less risky if countries have reached certain levels or thresholds of financial and institutional development.”
Capital account liberalization has typically increased the Gini index by 1 percent within two years of the liberalization and by 1.5 percent within five years. The robustness of this qualitative result to various stress tests is extensively documented in our paper.
Why is openness associated with a rise in inequality? We suggest two possibilities. First, it is commonly argued that the benefits of capital account liberalization depend on the quality of financial institutions. Where institutions are weak and the access to credit is not inclusive, liberalization may exacerbate inequality by increasing the bias in financial access in favor of the privileged. Indeed, we find that the increase in inequality in the aftermath of liberalization is higher in countries where financial inclusion is lower (Chart 2).
Second, when capital account liberalization is not well managed, or not well sequenced with other reforms, it increases the likelihood of financial crises. Many studies have found that such crises disproportionately hurt the poor. We find support for this view: the impact of openness on inequality is sharply higher in cases where there a financial crisis in the immediate aftermath of liberalization (Chart 3).
Our results do not imply that countries should not undertake capital account liberalization. As noted in “The Liberalization and Management of Capital Flows: An Institutional View” (IMF 2012):
“Capital flows can have substantial benefits for countries, including by enhancing efficiency, promoting financial sector competitiveness, and facilitating greater productive investment and consumption smoothing. At the same time, capital flows also carry risks, which can be magnified by gaps in countries’ financial and institutional infrastructure.”
Our findings, however, suggest a need for proceeding with caution, given that capital flows can be volatile and—particularly given their large size relative to domestic markets—can pose a risk to economic and financial stability. Further, countries where reducing inequality is an important policy goal may need to design liberalization in a manner that addresses its impact on inequality.
Vir: Furceri & Loungani, IMF Direct