Capital Market Liberalization and Poverty
Working Paper #59
For capital market liberalization in developing countries, the returns have been difficult to identify: there is no convincing empirical evidence linking open capital markets to economic growth. There is however, considerable evidence of increased risk. Capital market liberalization increases consumption volatility and heightens countries' vulnerability to crises. The poor are least equipped to cope with increased volatility, and they are most affected by financial crises. Capital mobility reduces their bargaining power relative to capital and leads to a decline in the labor share of output. Financial openness delivers the poor few benefits in terms of increased access to credit and other financial services, and it constrains governments' redistributive efforts and anti-poverty fiscal policies. While it is difficult to establish a conclusive direct link between capital market liberalization and increased rates of poverty, the evidence presented in this paper suggests a compelling case that capital market liberalization is bad for the poor in developing countries.
About the Authors
London School of Economics
Andrew Charlton is a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. He has taught at Oxford University and been a consultant for the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, The United Nations Development Program and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)
Joseph E. Stiglitz is President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Chairman of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia, teaching in its Economics Department, its Business School, and its School of International and Public Affairs. He chaired the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, created in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the President of the General Assembly. He is former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001.