Capital Flows to the New World as an Intergenerational Transfer

42 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2006  

Alan M. Taylor

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics; University of Virginia - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Jeffrey G. Williamson

Harvard University - Department of Economics, Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Emeritus; Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 1991

Abstract

Why did international capital flows rise to such heights in the late 19th century, the years between 1907 and 1913 in particular? Britain placed half of her annual savings abroad during those seven years, and 76 percent of it went to the New World countries of Canada, Australia, the USA, Argentina and the rest of Latin America. The resource abundant New World was endowed with dual scarcity, labor and capital. The labor supply response to labor scarcity took the form of both immigration and high fertility. This served to create much higher child dependency burdens in the New World than in the Old. Econometric analysis shows that these dependency burdens served to choke off domestic savings in the New World, thus creating an external demand for savings. The influence was very large. Indeed, it appears that the vast majority of those international capital flows from Old World to New can be explained by those dependency rate gaps. As a consequence, it is appropriate to view those large international capital flows as an intergenerational transfer.

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Alan M. and Williamson, Jeffrey G., Capital Flows to the New World as an Intergenerational Transfer (December 1991). NBER Working Paper No. h0032. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=570802

Alan M. Taylor (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-1572 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/amtaylor/

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States
(434)-924-3177 (Phone)
(434)-982-2904 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.virginia.edu/~amt7u

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://nber.org

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://cepr.org

Jeffrey G. Williamson

Harvard University - Department of Economics, Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Emeritus ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 216
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-2438 (Phone)
617-496-7352 (Fax)

Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin - Department of Economics

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
415