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Contrôle des capitaux. Pourquoi les gouvernements hésitent-ils ?

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  • Benjamin J. Cohen

Abstract

[fre] Why do governments hesitate to make more use of capital controls? In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, limitations on capital mobility appeared to gain a new legitimacy as an instrument of monetary governance. Once Malaysia imposed comprehensive restraints in 1998, it was clear that the option of controls could no longer be excluded from the policy agenda. At the same time, reconsiderations of both theory and history cast the case for restraints in a new and more positive light. Four possible explanations are explored. Little evidence exists to suggest that governments hesitate because of concerns for technical issues, lack of convincing evidence, or ideological principle. Most decisive appears to be the prominent role of the United States, which has actively used its international power to oppose any reintroduction of controls. [eng] Why do governments hesitate to make more use of capital controls? In the wake of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, limitations on capital mobility appeared to gain a new legitimacy as an instrument of monetary governance. Once Malaysia imposed comprehensive restraints in 1998, it was clear that the option of controls could no longer be excluded from the policy agenda. At the same time, reconsiderations of both theory and history cast the case for restraints in a new and more positive light. Four possible explanations are explored. Little evidence exists to suggest that governments hesitate because of concerns for technical issues, lack of convincing evidence, or ideological principle. Most decisive appears to be the prominent role of the United States, which has actively used its international power to oppose any reintroduction of controls.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin J. Cohen, 2001. "Contrôle des capitaux. Pourquoi les gouvernements hésitent-ils ?," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 52(2), pages 207-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_2001_num_52_2_410310
    Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.2001.410310
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