Deep Integration and Trade Agreements

Nancy Birdsall and Robert Z. Lawrence

in Global Public Goods

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130522
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867363 | DOI:
 Deep Integration and Trade Agreements

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This chapter looks at financial crises as a challenge to the international financial system and investigates the “public bad” nature of the phenomenon. The conclusion: excessive financial volatility is a global public bad. Instability is not purely a technical by‐product of the production of financial services. Rather, it is the outcome of market failures, for reasons not yet fully understood. Having laid out this diagnosis, the chapter looks at how existing institutions and policies deal with international financial instability, both to limit its acuity and to deal with its implications. The main emphasis is on drawing lessons from recent experiences (Europe, Mexico, and East Asia) and recent theoretical advances, especially those that have improved our understanding of crises. The chapter presents five main proposals. (1) Proceed with caution in promoting capital liberalization; (2) avoid the restrictive macroeconomic policies, huge loans, and deep structural policies of recent packages; (3) complement today's ex post conditionality with ex ante conditionality; (4) suspend debt repayment in the event of a major crisis accompanied by a collapse of the exchange rate; and (5) end the monopoly of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by creating regional IMFs.

Keywords: capital controls; capital liberalization; exchange rate management; financial instability; financial stability; global public goods; International Monetary Fund (IMF; pecuniary externalities; Regional international financial institutions (IFIs)

Chapter.  9217 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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