DETERMINANTS OF CAPITAL FLIGHT FROM ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, AND MEXICO
SUHAS L KETKAR
KUSUM W. KETKAR
This paper derives four alternative measures of "hot money" outflows of capital from Latin America's three major debtors-Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. These measures are based on two sources of quarterly data from 1977 to 1986: (i) the balance of payments statistics and (ii) changes in the U.S. bank deposits of non-banking entities in the debtor countries. The portfolio adjustment model then is used to specify the factors influencing capital flight. These factors are grouped into two types. The push factors relate to characteristics of the so-called source countries for capital flight and include the interest and inflation rates, the degree of currency overvaluation, and the environmental risks embodied in both frequent regime changes and the onset of the 1982 debt crisis. The pull factors include the interest and inflation rates in the host country, the United States. The principal findings of the paper show that the push factors alone are significant in explaining capital outflows from Argentina and Brazil. For Mexico, by contrast, the push factors as well as the pull factors are found to be relevant in explaining the behavior of flight capital, as measured by changes in the deposits of Mexican non-bank entities in the U.S. banking system. Copyright 1989 Western Economic Association International.
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