International Capital Flows and Domestic Economic Policies
In: The United States in the World Economy
AbstractThis paper, written for the NBER Conference on the Changing Role of the United States in the World Economy, covers the capital account in the U.S. balance of payments. It first traces the history from 1946 to 1980, a period throughout which Americans were steadily building up a positive net foreign investment position. It subsequently describes the historic swing of the capital account in the 1980s toward massive borrowing from abroad. There are various factors, in addition to expected rates of return, that encourage or discourage international capital flows: transactions costs, government controls, taxes, default and other political risk and exchange risk. But the paper argues that the increase in real interest rates and other expected rates of return in the United States, relative to other countries, in the early 1980s was the major factor that began to attract large net capital inflows. It concludes that a large increase in the U.S. federal budget deficit, which was not offset by increased private saving, was the major factor behind the increase in real interest rates, and therefore behind the switch to borrowing from abroad.
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Other versions of this item:
- Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1988. "International Capital Flows and Domestic Economic Policies," NBER Working Papers 2210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frankel, Jeffrey A., 1987. "international Capital Flows and Domestic Economic Policies," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1q85b9j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Jeffrey A. Frankel., 1987. "International Capital Flows and Domestic Economic Policies," Economics Working Papers 8739, University of California at Berkeley.
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