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Capital Flows: Catalyst Or Hindrance To Economic Takeoffs?

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Executive Summary

This paper applies a probit estimation to assess the relationship between economic takeoffs during 1950-2000 and inflows of portfolio debt, portfolio equity, and FDI, controlling for country's stock of short-term external debt and commodity terms of trade. Average level of FDI inflows is associated with a 23 percent higher takeoff probability relative to a zero FDI inflow benchmark, and this effect is highest for the Latin America subsample, with a 65 rise in takeoff probability. Higher stock of short term external debt has been associated with a substantial negative effect on the probability of a takeoff, and the effect of the short terms debt overhang is largest for Latin American countries.

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