On the Tobin Tax
This paper clarifies why a transaction tax, such as the Tobin Tax, can stabilize financial markets. In markets that are already fairly deep, relatively small changes in trading volume are unlikely to have any impact (positive or negative) on volatility. Thus, a Tobin Tax can potentially have a stabilizing effect on international currency markets not because it reduces the excessive volume of transactions of speculators, but because it can slow down the speed with which market traders react to changes in prices of currencies. Moreover, it can lower their elasticity of future price expectations with respect to current price changes, which also has a stabilizing effect. Thus, to the extent that a Tobin Tax causes traders in financial markets to delay their decisions, a few 'grains of sand in the wheels of international finance' can indeed be stabilizing. Whether or not that is sufficient to prevent speculative attacks on currencies is a different matter.
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Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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