Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol 21, No 1 (2006)

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Capital Flight and the Hollowing Out of the Philippine Economy in the Neoliberal Regime

Edsel L. Beja Jr.

Abstract


Capital flight is the movement of capital from a resource-scarce developing country to avoid social controls, measured as net unrecorded capital outflow. Capital flight from the Philippines was USD 16 billion in the 1970s, USD 36 billion in the 1980s, and USD 43 billion in the 1990s. Indeed these figures are significant amounts of lost resources that could have been utilized to generate additional output and jobs. Capital flight from the Philippines followed a revolving-door process—that is, capital inflows
were used to finance the capital outflows. This process became more pronounced with financial liberalization in the 1990s. With these results, we argue that capital flight resulted in the hollowing out of the Philippine economy and, more important, neoliberal policies underpinned the process.

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