International Capital Movement and Monetary Independence in Asia

Simeon Nanovsky, Yoonbai Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we investigate the extent of monetary independence in a group of ten Asian countries: China, Malaysia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. While the traditional investigation has considered only the bivariate relationship between the home interest rate and the base rate, we employ both single-equation and vector autoregressive representations of the bivariate and the trivariate relationship including the desired (or optimal) interest rate. We find in most countries, that the ranking of monetary independence is relatively consistent across the models and methodologies although model specifications produce important differences for some countries such as Japan, Indonesia, and India. Trilemma suggests that a country cannot accomplish all three policy objectives: monetary independence, exchange rate stability, and free capital mobility. To increase monetary independence a country must choose between greater exchange rate flexibility or a lower degree of capital mobility. The fact that China and Malaysia, the two countries that are known to have imposed the strictest capital controls, consistently rank high in various scenarios while Hong Kong, which has maintained nearly the freest regime in capital markets, is lowest in monetary independence, indicates that perhaps capital controls may play a more important role than does exchange rate flexibility in securing independence in monetary policy making. On the other hand, countries that maintain greater exchange rate stability do not necessarily rank low, unless it is combined with greater capital mobility as in the case of Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-198
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Advances in Economic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, International Atlantic Economic Society.


  • Capital controls
  • Exchange rate flexibility
  • Monetary independence
  • Trilemma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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