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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 University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C98-098.

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Date of creation: 01 May 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbcd:c98-098
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA
Phone: 510-642-0822
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  1. 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.
  2. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
  3. Leonardo Leiderman & Guillermo A. Calvo & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Inflows of Capital to Developing Countries in the 1990s: Causes and Effects," Research Department Publications 4002, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Enrica Detragiache, 1996. "Rational Liquidity Crises in the Sovereign Debt Market: In Search of a Theory," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(3), pages 545-570, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  7. Barry Eichengreen., 1990. "One Money for Europe? Lessons from the US Currency Union," Economics Working Papers 90-132, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  9. Calvo, Guillermo A. & Mendoza, Enrique, 1997. "Rational Herd Behavior and the Globalization of Securities Markets," Working Papers 97-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1992. "Risk-Taking, Global Diversification, and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Alesina, Alberto F & Grilli, Vittorio & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1993. "The Political Economy of Capital Controls," CEPR Discussion Papers 793, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 5960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Maurice Obstfeld, 1995. "Models of Currency Crises with Self-Fulfilling Features," NBER Working Papers 5285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1995. "The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 5191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  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 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.
  21. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1996. "Understanding Financial Crises: A Developing Country Perspective," NBER Working Papers 5600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  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. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441, June.
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