Pakistan’s Poor Governance and Capital Flight

Dev Kar

Published: June 2023

Pakistan’s chronic economic mismanagement, as reflected in persistently large current account deficits, compelled it to enter into 22 financing arrangements with the International Monetary Fund, the latest one being in 2019. The key factors behind capital flight from Pakistan are its poor scores on governance, such as on political stability and absence of violence and control of corruption, the stranglehold of its elites, and the rising income inequality. We estimate that about 50% of all borrowing since 2001 has been squirreled away abroad by the country’s elites. Governance and economic policies need to be improved in order for Pakistan to avoid a debt crisis in the future.

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