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The Tragedy of the Commons and Economic Growth: Why Does Capital Flow from Poor to Rich Countries?

Aaron Tornell and Andes Velasco

Journal of Political Economy, 1992, vol. 100, issue 6, 1208-31

Abstract: The authors analyze a differential game in which all interest groups have access to a common capital stock. They show that the introduction of a technology that has inferior productivity but enjoys private access may ameliorate the tragedy of the commons. The authors use this model to analyze capital flight: in many poor countries, property rights are not well defined; since "safe" bank accounts in rich countries (the inferior technology) are available to citizens of these countries, they engage in capital flight. They show that the occurrence of capital flight does not imply that opening the capital account reduces growth and welfare. Copyright 1992 by University of Chicago Press.

Date: 1992
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