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Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis

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International economics, Economic integration, Capital account openness


We create a new index that measures the extent of openness in capital account transactions. Despite the abundance of literature and policy analyses regarding the effect of financial liberalization, the debate is far from settled. One of the reasons for that outcome is the lack of proper ways of measuring the extent of the openness in cross-border financial transactions. We seek to remedy this deficiency by creating an index aimed at measuring the extensity of capital controls based on the information from the IMF’s Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions (AREAER). This paper details how we construct the data and where our index stands in relation to the extant literature. Given the intricacy of capital controls policies and regulations, the exercise of quantifying the extent of financial openness remains a challenging task. Nonetheless, our index makes a substantial contribution in terms of its coverage of countries and time period; the data are available for 181 countries for the 1970 – 2005 period.


This is the authors' version of a paper subsequently published in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Volume 10, Issue 3, p. 309-322 (September 2008). Available at



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