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Measuring Capital Flight: Estimates and Interpretations

by Schneider, Benu
Published by : Overseas Development Institute, (United Kingdom:) Physical details: 98p. Year: 2002
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This paper makes a critical evaluation of estimation methods used in literature and applies them to a sample of 116 countries for the period 1971-98. The paper makes the case that the most widely prevalent measure of capital flight can at best be treated as a resident capital flow, which captures not only capital flight, but other influences as well. The estimates can be used in conjunction with explanatory variables and country-specific information to determine the type of capital flow one seeks to explain. The estimates reveal that irrespective of definition and the corresponding estimation method, estimated resident capital flows based on these methods are high for some countries and regions even in the 1990s and that it occurs in economies both with and without wholly or partially liberalised capital controls. The study provides a database on estimated resident outflows of capital for further research on capital flight, capital movements and financial integration.

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