January 2009

No. 3927: India's Approach to Capital Account Liberalization

published in: Brookings India Policy Forum, August 2009

In this paper, I analyze India's approach to capital account liberalization through the lens of the new literature on financial globalization. India's authorities have taken a cautious and calibrated path to capital account opening, which has served the economy well in terms of reducing its vulnerability to crises. By now, the capital account has become quite open and reversing this is not a viable option. Moreover, the remaining capital controls are rapidly becoming ineffective, making the debate about capital controls rather moot. Managing de facto financial integration into international capital markets and aligning domestic macroeconomic policies in a manner that maximizes the indirect benefits and reduces the risks is the key challenge now facing India's policymakers on this front.