The Political Economy of Capital Controls

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Although globalisation is seen by many as the key economic trend, restrictions on international capital movements remain the norm in international finance. In 1996, 144 out of 186 countries maintained capital controls (IMF). Yet the vast majority of economists object to most controls on capital movement, arguing that they distort the allocation of capital and allow opportunities for fraud. What leads governments to impose restrictions on international capital movements? In this study of capital controls, Gunther Schulze uses a public choice model to explain this behaviour. He considers the many aspects of capital controls, including: quantitative measurements of capital controls, evasion, misinvoicing, the interaction between an investigating government and an evader, and the role capital controls play in helping governments meet their macroeconomic objectives. In addition to the theoretical and policy discussions the book also contains a comprehensive survey of the existing literature.