Working Papers

2018-10 | May 2019


Optimal Capital Account Liberalization in China


China maintains tight controls over its capital account. Its current policy regime also features financial repression, under which banks are required to extend funds to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at favorable terms, despite their lower productivity than private firms. We incorporate these features into a general equilibrium model. We find that capital account liberalization under financial repression incurs a tradeoff between aggregate productivity and inter-temporal allocative efficiency. Along a transition path with a declining SOE share, welfare-maximizing policy calls for rapid removal of financial repression, but gradual liberalization of the capital account.

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Article Citation

Liu, Zheng, Mark M. Spiegel, and Jingyi Zhang. 2018. "Optimal Capital Account Liberalization in China," Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2018-10. Available at