IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why does not capital frlow from rich to poor countries? An Empirical investigation


  • Laura Alfaro
  • Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan


We examine the role of different explanations for the lack of flows of capital from rich to poor countries---the Lucas paradox---in an empirical framework. Broadly speaking, the theoretical explanations for this paradox include differences in fundamentals affecting the production structure versus international capital market imperfections. Our cross-country regressions show that, for the period 1971$-$1998, institutional quality is the most important causal variable explaining the Lucas paradox. Human capital and asymmetric information play a role as determinants of capital inflows but these variables cannot fully account for the paradox

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2004. "Why does not capital frlow from rich to poor countries? An Empirical investigation," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 416, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:416

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David & Weymark, John A., 1999. "Harsanyi's social aggregation theorem for state-contingent alternatives1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 365-387, November.
    2. Peter J. Hammond & Claude d'Aspremont, 2001. "An interview with John C. Harsanyi," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 18(3), pages 389-401.
    3. Marcus Fleming, 1952. "A Cardinal Concept of Welfare," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 366-384.
    4. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434-434.
    5. Mandler, Michael, 2001. "Dilemmas in Economic Theory: Persisting Foundational Problems of Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195145755.
    6. Mongin, P & d'Aspremont, C, 1996. "Utility Theory and Ethics," Papers 9632, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    7. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    8. Fishburn, Peter C, 1989. "Retrospective on the Utility Theory of von Neumann and Morgenstern," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 127-157, June.
    9. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1952. "The Expected-Utility Hypothesis and the Measurability of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 463-463.
    10. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279-279.
    11. Allais Maurice, 1990. "Cardinal Utility," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-38, June.
    12. Marc Fleurbaey & Maurice Salles & John Weymark, 2008. "Justice, Political Liberalism and Utilitarianism," Post-Print hal-00246415, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mehmet Fatih Ekinci & Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Bent E. Sørensen, 2009. "Financial Integration within EU Countries: The Role of Institutions, Confidence and Trust," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 325-391 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Prabir De, 2010. "Does Governance Matter for Enhancing Trade? Empirical Evidence from Asia," Governance Working Papers 22792, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Prabir De, 2010. "Governance, Institutions, and Regional Infrastructure in Asia," Governance Working Papers 22878, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

    More about this item


    capital flows; Lucas paradox; fundamentals; market imperfections;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:416. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.