British public policy and multinationals during the “Dollar Gap” era, 1945–1960
Rooth, T. and Scott, P. (2002) British public policy and multinationals during the “Dollar Gap” era, 1945–1960. Enterprise & Society, 3 (1). pp. 124-161. ISSN 1467-2235
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/es/3.1.124
This article examines the role of British exchange and import controls in stimulating the dramatic increase in overseas (particularly American) multinationals in Britain from the end of the Second World War to the late 1950s, together with the ways in which the government used controls to regulate the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow. Exchange controls were both an important stimulus to inward investment and a powerful and flexible means of regulating its volume and character. Government was relatively successful in using these powers to maximize the dollar balance and industrial benefits of FDI to Britain, given initially severe dollar and capacity constraints, and in liberalizing policy once these constraints receded and competition from other FDI hosts intensified.
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