The Political Economy of Financial Liberalization and Internationalization in Taiwan: 1980-2005

  • 陳 國輝

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Following the rise of neoliberalism since the 1980s developing countries have come under strong economic and political pressures from trading partners and international institutions to accelerate capital account liberalization as well as liberalization of trade in financial services The ‘constraint school’ argues that the convergence towards the Anglo-American model is inevitable This gives rise to the question of whether Taiwan had policy choices with respect to financial liberalization in the presence of systemic pressures during this emerging neoliberal financial order Being a small open economy and excluded from membership in any international organizations as well as the regional financial and monetary cooperation that has emerged since the 1997-98 East Asian financial crisis Taiwan provides a useful case study in examining whether its small size and diplomatic isolation posed serious problems and challenges to national policy autonomy particularly related to its regulation of international financial markets and capital flows As most previous research to date has paid attention primarily on domestic financial liberalization the thesis contributes to the literature by examining the political economy of Taiwan’s financial liberalization and internationalization which include the liberalization of international capital flows and trade in financial services The thesis also seeks to contribute to the literature on the political economy of financial liberalization in Taiwan by examining the complex interactions of international and domestic politics in order to understand Taiwan’s approach to financial liberalization and internationalization since the 1980s during which wider opening of the domestic financial markets and capital account began to gain momentum To the extent that liberalization of trade in financial services was necessary to meet the growing needs of its increasingly globalized industrial firms Taiwan continues to liberalize its financial services even beyond its WTO accession commitments However Taiwan continues to maintain a precautionary and prudential regulatory framework for managing international capital flows in particular the portfolio and speculative capital flows despite liberalization of the capital account since the 1980s The previous studies show the diminishing institutional capacities of the developmental state in financial policymaking with respect to domestic financial liberalization due to increasing democratization However our analysis of Taiwan’s institutional strength of financial policymaking shows that Taiwan had been largely successful in sustaining control over the pace of a gradual and selective external financial liberalization Retained developmental statist capacities continue to set the tone for Taiwan's liberalization with re-regulation and management of its capital account liberalization The Central Bank of the Republic of China became the important institutional pillar safeguarding Taiwan’s financial stability and resilience that was largely kept intact insulating the economy from politically manipulation and market distortion
Date of Award2015 Jan 22
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHsin-Chih Chen (Supervisor)

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