The capital flight quadrilemma: Democratic trade-offs and international investment

Ethics and Global Politics 4 (14):199-217 (2021)
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This article argues that capital flight of real investment presents governments with a quadrilemma. First, governments can tailor their policies to attract investors – but this is incompatible with a whole range of alternative policy choices. Second, they can simply accept capital flight – but this is incompatible with a robust capital stock and tax base. Third, they can harmonize its taxes and regulations with other states – but this is incompatible with international independence. Fourth, they can impose capital controls – but this is incompatible with international capital mobility. These incompatibilities make up four different goals, the value of which are described. Strategies may be mixed, but the pursuit of any three goals must always come at the expense of the fourth.
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Archival date: 2021-11-17
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