The politics of transfer risk

Even constrained governments steal: the domestic politics of transfer and expropriation risks 

BSG-WP-2015-002

So far, scholars studying how governments violate the property rights of foreign investments have focused on expropriation, which is the involuntary seizure of foreign-owned assets by the host government. But they have missed the more complicated, more regulatory, and more ubiquitous form of violation in modern investment phenomena: transfer risk, which is the inability to convert or repatriate hard currency. Interestingly, transfer risk is being carried out by governments that have been traditionally considered safe (because they have more institutional checks on executive power).

The authors of this paper, including BSG postdoctoral research fellow Noel Johnston, analyse both types of violations over a 25-year period and demonstrate how they are undergone for different strategic reasons.

The study is aimed not only at scholars of international policy and economics, but also at lawyers, practitioners and investors who can benefit from rigorous research on phenomena they observe daily.