The nexus between corruption and capital account restrictions
We provide a formal model illustrating the mutual relationship between corruption and capital account restrictions. Corrupt countries are more likely to impose capital controls because corruption reduces a government’s ability to collect tax revenue. If controls exist, however, individuals try to mitigate the burden by offering bribes, thereby increasing corruption. We test the model using panel data for 80 countries over the period 1984–2002 and find that corruption and restrictions indeed affect each other. Government’s attempts to increase revenue via controls on capital might thus invoke a restrictions-rent-seeking spiral with destructively high levels of both. Using capital controls to increase revenue should be reconsidered.