Do markets enhance convergence on international standards? The case of financial regulation


Hyoung-Kyu Chey, Northeast Asian Economics Studies Team, Institute for Monetary and Economic Research, The Bank of Korea, 110, 3-Ga, Namdaemum-Ro, Jung-Gu, Seoul, South Korea. Email:


Why do countries that did not participate in the establishment of international standards converge on them in the absence of external coercion? The market-based perspective asserts that market forces enhance cross-national convergence on international standards. This paper challenges the market-based perspective, focusing on compliance with the 1988 Basel Capital Accord in South Korea and Taiwan. First, it argues that adoption of the Basel Capital Accord by these countries was mainly driven by their regulatory authorities’ concern about the potential risk of foreign market closure to noncompliant banks. Second, it demonstrates that enforcement by the two countries’ regulatory authorities was crucial in ensuring compliance. These findings suggest that national regulatory authorities are still key actors in voluntary convergence on international standards.