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Between Imperialism and Capitalism: European Capital Exports Before 1914

Rui Esteves

University of Oxford - Department of Economics

March, 16 2012

This paper compares the patterns of foreign investment of two large capital-exporting countries before 1914 - Great Britain and Germany. An original database of German capital exports, comparable to Stone's (1999) data for British capital flows was compiled for the period 1883-1913. Three classes of variables were tested as determinants of capital flows: political conditions in recipient countries, long-term prospects of growth, and institutional characteristics. The empirical analysis supports the view that German capital flows responded to long-term prospects of growth of recipient countries (\fundamentals") as much as British investment. This conclusion is robust after controlling for political affiliation and suggests that the sharp distinction in the literature between "developmental" and "revenue" finances is probably a figment of the absence of detailed data on capital exports outside of Britain.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: capital flows, Imperialism, Britain, Germany, Pre-1913

JEL Classification: F21, F54, N20, N23

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Date posted: March 18, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Esteves, Rui, Between Imperialism and Capitalism: European Capital Exports Before 1914 (March, 16 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2024932 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2024932

Contact Information

Rui Esteves (Contact Author)
University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom
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