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The Empire Effect: Country Risk in the First Age of Globalization, 1880-1913

Author

Listed:
  • Niall Ferguson

    (Harvard University)

  • Moritz Schularick

    (Free University of Berlin)

Abstract

Would the movement of capital from to poor countries greatly increase, if the commitment to protecting property and allowing capital to move freely were more credible? This paper asks whether the British Empire provided global public goods that supported large-scale development finance before 1914. We reassess the importance of colonial status to investors by means of multivariable regression analysis. We show that British colonies were able to borrow in London at significantly lower rates of interest than non-colonies precisely because of their colonial status, which overruled economic factors. We conclude that these findings have important implications for the current globalization debate: lacking jurisdictional integration is a major impediment to capital flows from rich to poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Niall Ferguson & Moritz Schularick, 2005. "The Empire Effect: Country Risk in the First Age of Globalization, 1880-1913," Economic History 0509002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0509002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 40
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2004. "Empire, Public Goods, and the Roosevelt Corollary," NBER Working Papers 10729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234 Elsevier.
    5. Christopher M. Meissner, 2002. "A New World Order: Explaining the Emergence of the Classical Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 9233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 2003. "Sovereign risk, credibility and the gold standard: 1870-1913 versus 1925-31," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 241-275, April.
    7. Barry Eichengreen & Ashoka Mody, 1998. "What Explains Changing Spreads on Emerging-Market Debt: Fundamentals or Market Sentiment?," NBER Working Papers 6408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Moritz Schularick, 2006. "A tale of two 'globalizations': capital flows from rich to poor in two eras of global finance," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 339-354.
    9. Eichengreen, Barry & Flandreau, Marc, 1994. "The Geography of the Gold Standard," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233393, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
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    11. Kris James Mitchener & Marc Weidenmier, 2008. "Trade and Empire," NBER Working Papers 13765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters,in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Flandreau, 2005. "Home Biases, 19th Century Style," Sciences Po publications n°5398, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sovereign risk; development finance; economic history; imperialism; globalization; bond spreads; capital market integration;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • K - Law and Economics

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