||The Political Economy of Financial Liberalization and Internationalization in Taiwan: 1980-2005
||Graduate Institute of Political Economy
Financial Liberalization and Internationalization
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.
Table of Contents vii
List of Tables ix
List of Figures x
List of Abbreviations/Acronyms xi
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Purpose of the Study 3
1.3 Research Questions and Statement of the Problem 4
1.4 Significance of Study 10
1.5 Research Methodology 11
1.6 Definitions 13
1.7 Limitations of Study 14
Chapter 2 Literature Review 15
2.1 The Dominance of Neoliberal Financial Order 15
2.2 The Political Economy of Financial Liberalization and Internationalization in Taiwan 21
2.3 Lacuna 28
Chapter 3 Analytical and Conceptual Framework 32
3.1 Analytical Framework 32
3.2 Conceptual Framework 39
3.2.1 State 39
3.2.2 Institutions and Domestic Institutions of Financial Policymaking in Taiwan 41
3.2.3 Neoliberal globalization 44
3.2.4 Financial Liberalization and Internationalization 46
Chapter 4 External Pressures 49
4.1 The US Influence 50
4.2 The WTO Factor 54
4.3 Discussions 59
Chapter 5 Domestic Pressures 61
5.1 The Influence of Business Interests 61
5.2 Legislative Influence 66
5.3 Discussions 67
Chapter 6 Institutional Foundation of Financial Policymaking in Taiwan 69
6.1 Financial Policymaking in Taiwan 69
6.2 Discussions: Taiwan’s Approach to External Financial Liberalization 76
Chapter 7 Conclusion 87
7.1 Summary and Theoretical Implications 87
7.3 Future Research 90
Appendix 1 Semi-Structured Interview with Dr. Eugene C.M. Tsai (蔡炯民), Senior Economist, CBC, November 2012 105
Appendix 2 Semi-Structured Interview with Former Taiwan’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ho Chih-Chin (何志欽), January 2010. 106
Appendix 3 Organization Structure of the CBC. 107
Appendix 4 Organization Structure of the FSC. 108
Appendix 5 Regulation and Liberalization of Cross-Strait Capital Flows and Trade in Financial Services. 109
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Interview with Ho, Chih-Chin, former Minister of Finance (2006-2008) and Executive Vice President of National Cheng Kung University, January 2010.
Interview with Tsai, C.M., Central Bank of the Republic of China, November 2012.