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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 45 No. 2 (June 2007)

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Global Capital Markets in the Long Run: A Review of Maurice Obstfeld and Alan Taylor's Global Capital Markets

Article Citation

Williamson, Jeffrey G. 2007. "Global Capital Markets in the Long Run: A Review of Maurice Obstfeld and Alan Taylor's Global Capital Markets." Journal of Economic Literature, 45(2): 400-409.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.45.2.400

Abstract

Written by Maurice Obstfeld and Alan Taylor, Global Capital Markets: Integration, Crisis, and Growth was a much-needed book that will be cited extensively by those with interests in the long run evolution of the world financial capital market. The book does not simply assess changes in the efficiency of global capital markets over the past 150 years, but rather adds significantly to debates about instability and crisis, asymmetry between rich and poor countries in the costs of going open, the Lucas Paradox, the connections between foreign exchange and financial capital market regimes, and much more. The book makes far better use of the comparative evidence generated by the three epochs since 1850—the first global century before 1914, the second global century after 1950, and the autarchy in between—than do competitors that focus solely on one regime, whether the gold standard, post-World War II Breton Woods, or the float since. In addition, while the financial literature rarely assesses in any useful empirical way the connection between financial markets and the real economy, this book makes that connection absolutely clear. Global Capital Markets is a stimulating book with a very wide and deep reach.

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Williamson, Jeffrey G.


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