Capital Account Liberalization: Allocative Efficiency or Animal Spirits?

By Anusha ChariPeter B. Henry
2002| Working Paper No. 1737

In the year that capital-poor countries open their stock markets to foreign investors, the growth rate of their typical firms capital stock exceeds its pre-liberalization mean by 4.1 percentage points. In each of the next three years the average growth rate of the capital stock for the 369 firms in the sample exceeds its pre-liberalization mean by 6.1 percentage points. However, there is no evidence that differences in the liberalization-induced changes in the cost of capital or investment opportunities drive the cross-sectional variation in the post-liberalization investment increases.