Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sven W. Arndt

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© 2016 Xinying Yow


China’s goal of eventually having the renminbi (RMB) be “fully convertible” necessarily requires that its capital account be fully liberated; this paper investigates the on-going changes of the implemented capital controls by China and China’s progress on liberalizing the country’s capital account. The first portion of the paper studies deviations of the covered interest parity, a common measure of capital controls. Econometrical analysis provides evidence for significant and persistent RMB/USD interest rate differentials, calculated from monthly data of 1-month yields for the sample period of 1999 to 2014. At the same time, evidence for cointegration between the onshore and offshore yield suggests that capital flows are not fully restrictive in the long run. The second portion of the paper analyzes constructed de jure capital control indices based on IMF’s AREAER documents following Chen and Qian (2015), and actual capital account flows based on China’s Balance of Payments. The constructed de jure indices quantify the intensity of changes of capital controls, capturing the gradualist style that China adopts in implementing its policies. The index reveals that China has been increasing its pace of capital account liberalization in the recent years compared to the past, and in particular, prioritizes liberalizing controls on outward FDI flows and equity securities inflows. The constructed de jure indices and the respective flows for FDI and equity securities are found to be highly correlated, implying that flows have been responsive to changes in the controls. It also indicates that prior to the restriction lift offs, the capital controls had been relatively effective.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.