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The Obsolescence of Capital Controls?: Economic Management in an Age of Global Markets

John B. Goodman and Louis W. Pauly
World Politics
Vol. 46, No. 1 (Oct., 1993), pp. 50-82
DOI: 10.2307/2950666
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2950666
Page Count: 33
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The Obsolescence of Capital Controls?: Economic Management in an Age of Global Markets
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Abstract

Between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, after decades of trying to limit short-term international capital movements, advanced industrial states moved decisively in the direction of decontrol. What has driven this remarkable policy convergence? The answer lies not in ideological change or shifts in relative political power, but in the prior development of international financial markets and in the increasing globalization of business. In a policy environment fundamentally reshaped by these factors, financial institutions and multinational firms were able to threaten or implement strategies of evasion and exit. Thus, the usefulness of controls declined as their effective costs rose sharply. In this light, the cases of Japan, Germany, Italy, and France are examined. The analysis points to the tightening link between short-term capital movements and foreign direct investment, issues that have long been treated as conceptually distinct. It also underlines the intricate connection between national policies governing capital movements and those aimed at managing international financial markets.

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