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Familiarity Breeds Investment: Migrant Networks and Cross-Border Capital
Unformatted Document Text:  1 Diaspora Bonds and Cross-Border Capital 1 David Leblang Department of Political Science University of Colorado ## email not listed ## March 21, 2008 While it is generally recognized that we live in an increasingly globalized world, it is also abundantly evident that the effects of globalization are unequal. Despite the enormous size of global capital markets—as evidenced by figure 1—peoples, states and economies have varying degrees of access to international financial markets. The ability of public and private entities to attract global investment has dramatic consequences for growth, development and equality. And, it is why scholars have devoted significant energies to understanding the factors that lead capital to flow from one country to another. A dominant line of thinking holds that institutional differences across countries explains why some countries are able borrow internationally while others are not. Countries with institutions that enable policy makers to demonstrate a credible commitment to stable and liberal economic policies, so the argument goes, are able to attract investment because investors envision a lower risk of expropriation (Alfaro, Kelemli-Ozcan, & Volosovych, 2006; Buthe & Milner, 2006; Jensen, 2003; Pevehouse, 2002). It is difficult to overstate the importance of credible commitments. The institutional story, however, only gets us so far in understanding the pattern of international investment. Even 1 I am grateful to Zane Kelly and Jessica Teets for outstanding research assistance and to Lee Alston, Ben Ansell, Andy Baker, Bernd Beber, William Bernhard, David Brown, Steve Chan, Rafaela Dancygier, Jennifer Fitzgerald, John Freeman, Jude Hays, Nathan Jensen, Joseph Jupille, Moonhawk Kim, Robert McKnown, Tom Pepinsky, Kathryn Sikkink, David Singer, Michael Tomz and Jennifer Wolak for helpful comments. I also thank Moonhawk Kim for sharing his bilateral trade and preferential trade agreements data.

Authors: Leblang, David.
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1
Diaspora Bonds and Cross-Border Capital
1
David Leblang
Department of Political Science
University of Colorado
## email not listed ##
March 21, 2008
While it is generally recognized that we live in an increasingly globalized world, it is also
abundantly evident that the effects of globalization are unequal. Despite the enormous size of
global capital markets—as evidenced by figure 1—peoples, states and economies have varying
degrees of access to international financial markets. The ability of public and private entities to
attract global investment has dramatic consequences for growth, development and equality.
And, it is why scholars have devoted significant energies to understanding the factors that lead
capital to flow from one country to another. A dominant line of thinking holds that
institutional differences across countries explains why some countries are able borrow
internationally while others are not. Countries with institutions that enable policy makers to
demonstrate a credible commitment to stable and liberal economic policies, so the argument
goes, are able to attract investment because investors envision a lower risk of expropriation
(Alfaro, Kelemli-Ozcan, & Volosovych, 2006; Buthe & Milner, 2006; Jensen, 2003; Pevehouse,
2002).
It is difficult to overstate the importance of credible commitments. The institutional story,
however, only gets us so far in understanding the pattern of international investment. Even
1
I am grateful to Zane Kelly and Jessica Teets for outstanding research assistance and to Lee Alston, Ben Ansell,
Andy Baker, Bernd Beber, William Bernhard, David Brown, Steve Chan, Rafaela Dancygier, Jennifer Fitzgerald,
John Freeman, Jude Hays, Nathan Jensen, Joseph Jupille, Moonhawk Kim, Robert McKnown, Tom Pepinsky,
Kathryn Sikkink, David Singer, Michael Tomz and Jennifer Wolak for helpful comments. I also thank Moonhawk
Kim for sharing his bilateral trade and preferential trade agreements data.


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