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The Global Capital Market: Benefactor or Menace?

  • Maurice Obstfeld

This paper reviews the theoretical functions, history, and policy problems raised by the international capital market. The goal is to offer a perspective on both the considerable advantages the market offers and on the genuine hazards it poses, as well as on the avenues through which it constrains national policy choices. A duality of benefits and risks is inescapable in the real world of asymmetric information and imperfect contract enforcement. I argue, however, that in confronting the global capital market there is no reason to depart from conventional economic wisdom. The way to maximize net benefits is to encourage economic integration while attacking concomitant distortions and other unwanted side-effects at, or close to, their sources.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6559.

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Date of creation: May 1998
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 12 (Fall 1998): 9-30.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6559
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld., 1993. "Risk-Taking, Global Diversification, and Growth," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-016, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Vittorio Grilli & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1995. "Economic Effects and Structural Determinants of Capital Controls," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(3), pages 517-551, September.
  3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6ks1k831, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Collins, Susan M., 1996. "On becoming more flexible: Exchange rate regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 117-138, October.
  5. Michael P. Dooley, 1995. "A Survey of Academic Literature on Controls over International Capital Transactions," NBER Working Papers 5352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 73-96, Fall.
  8. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 1997. "Rational herd behavior and the globalization of securities markets," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 120, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Vittorio Grilli & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," NBER Working Papers 4353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Enrica Detragiache, 1996. "Rational Liquidity Crises in the Sovereign Debt Market; In Search of a Theory," IMF Working Papers 96/38, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Siebert, Horst, 1997. "Labor market rigidities and unemployment in Europe," Kiel Working Papers 787, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Golub, Stephen S., 1990. "International capital mobility: net versus gross stocks and flows," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 424-439, December.
  13. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  14. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1996. "Understanding Financial Crises: A Developing Country Perspective," NBER Working Papers 5600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 1633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441.
  17. Michael P. Dooley, 1996. "A Survey of Literature on Controls over International Capital Transactions," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 639-687, December.
  18. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1996. "Inflows of capital to developing countries in the 1990s," MPRA Paper 13707, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  20. Michael Mussa & Morris Goldstein, 1993. "The integration of world capital markets," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 245-330.
  21. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  22. Guillermo A. Calvo & Morris Goldstein & Eduard Hochreiter (ed.), 1996. "Private Capital Flows to Emerging Markets after the Mexican Crisis," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 49.
  23. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
  24. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476.
  25. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
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