Capital flight and the real exchange rate: evidence from resource scarce MENA countries

YALTA A. Y., Yalta A. T.

Middle East Development Journal, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/17938120.2023.2282325
  • Journal Name: Middle East Development Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: ARDL, Capital flight, institutional quality, MENA, real exchange rate
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


We analyze the determinants of capital flight in three resource scarce MENA countries namely Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Our methodology involves both the linear and nonlinear autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) cointegration approaches, with a focus on asymmetric relationships between capital flight and the real exchange rate, to distinguish the impact of real appreciation and depreciation of domestic currency on capital flight. The results based on nonlinear ARDL approach using annual data between 1977 and 2019 indicate that in Egypt, financial openness is negatively related with capital flight, while real depreciation seems to increase it in the long run. Our findings also reveal that the real GDP growth rate, institutional quality as well as inflation are important factors affecting capital flight in Morocco, whereas financial openness and the real exchange rate influence capital flight significantly in Tunisia.