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Abstract

States' decisions about regulating international capital movements are shaped in part by institutions and partisanship at the domestic level, but the effects of domestic-level variables are themselves contingent on the constraints imposed by the international system. We amend the veto-players hypothesis to account for the effects of international regimes on the political influence of domestic players in state decision-making. The history of changes in international financial regulations over the past four decades provides an ideal case to study the interaction of international regimes and domestic decision-making systems. We create a data set of all capital controls policy changes that 19 OECD parliamentary democracies made during the years 1951–1998. Using these new data, we find that states with a higher number of veto-player parties in government enact fewer capital controls policy changes. Furthermore, ideologically right-of-center governments in these industrialized countries are more likely than others to enact capital controls liberalizations. We also find, however, that the independent effects of these domestic-level variables disappear after the mid-1980s, when the systemic constraints imposed on individual states increased substantially.