International Capital Mobility and Monetary Politics in the U.S. Congress, 1960-1997

Date Published:

Oct 1, 1998


Prevailing approaches to the politics of monetary policy in the United States are based on closed economy assumptions, which is appropriate for analyzing the period before about 1980. However, the opening of U.S. and foreign financial markets since the early 1980s has had a profound effect on domestic monetary policy and domestic monetary politics. The major policy effect is that the transmission channels of monetary policy now include the exchange rate. The major political effect is that the exchange rate has become a focus of concern for well–organized industries in the traded goods sector and, by extension, for Congress. This paper presents statistical evidence showing that the forces driving congressional activity on monetary policy have changed dramatically with the international financial integration of the U.S. economy. Exchange rates, as opposed to interest rates, now largely determine congressional attentiveness to monetary policy and the Federal Reserve.


Broz, J. Lawrence. "International Capital Mobility and Monetary Politics in the U.S. Congress, 1960-1997." Working Paper 98–11, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University October 1998.

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