Recent globalization trends have refocused attention on the historical evolution
of international capital mobility over the long run. The issue is examined here using
time-series analysis of current-account dynamics for fifteen countries since circa
1850. The inter-war period emerges as an era of low capital mobility and only recently
can we observe a tentative return to the degree of capital mobility witnessed during
the late nineteenth century. The analysis of saving and investment dynamics also
helps make sense of the frequently observed high correlation of saving and investment
rates in historical data.