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Dr Mark Hampton

Dr Mark Hampton was previously a lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth 1993-2000, but is now Lecturer in Tourism, University of Surrey's School of Management. His recent publications are listed here.

He was brought up in Jersey, Channel Islands, and worked briefly in the offshore banking sector for work experience while studying at Norwich University. His PhD thesis was on offshore centres, taking Jersey as a particular illustrative example.

His magnum opus, "The Offshore Interface" drew heavily on this background, and also sought to place offshore centres such as Jersey in a neo-Marxist economic analysis using the idea of "fractions of capital". (I use the term "neoMarxist" purely as a term of description and in no way imply this has anything to do with so-called "Marxist" dictatorships, and would also mention that Dr Hampton has also used other means of analysis in other publications). A review by Roy Le Hérissier can be found here.

As the titles and abstracts shown on this page illustrate, Dr Hampton has always been highly critical of Jersey as an offshore finance centre; however, his criticisms have appeared to be largely observational and descriptive, i.e., he has not made any constructive suggestions for the diversivication of the Jersey economy, and transition to other forms of income.

 In contrast, it should be noted that as ISISA Secretary, he has participated in the "Mauritius Declaration" which has made more positive comments about other island economies (although not offshore centres), including "utilising the full political potential of Exclusive Economic Zones", which would seem to indicate some support for offshore finance, and "diversifying economies to reduce dependence on one dominant product or service". He has also co-authored a paper "Fiscal and Economic Report on Ascension Island" (27/06/2000 ) for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which again lists measures to improve the lot of the islanders.

In conclusion, it would appear that Dr Hampton, while certainly accurate in many of his strictures against the weakness of Jersey's economy, is open to the accusation of incorporating an element of moral judgement upon the economy (which, although I am sure is not the case, would rather spoil the supposedly objective and impartial nature of his comments); the one sided nature of his remarks tends to give the erroneous impression that he would enjoy seeing the demise of Jersey's finance industry, and has not given over much thought to the hardship to the ordinary islanders that might entail. This is a pity, as I am advised (by John Chistensen) that Dr Hampton does care passionately about Jersey.

I would note that the former economic adviser to the States, John Christensen, does not agree with my opinions above, and the interested reader is directed to an exchange of e-mails here.

Finally, here is a review of Mark Hampton's recent book "Offshore Finance Centres and Tax Havens" (in which he is editor and contributor) .

Titles of recent publications by Mark Hampton

Hampton, M.P., and Abbott, J.P. (Eds) 1999 Offshore Finance Centres and Tax Havens: the Rise of Global Capital. Macmillan, Basingstoke and Purdue University Press, Indiana.

Hampton, M.P. "Treasure Islands or Fool'sGold? Can and Should Small Island Economies copy Jersey?" World Development,1994, 22 (2), 237-250.

Hampton, M.P. "Small Islands and Offshore Finance: Lessons from Jersey." Insula. International Journal of Island Affairs,1994, 3 (2), 15-18.

Hampton, M.P. "Sixties Child? The emergence of Jersey as an Offshore Finance Centre 1955-71." Accounting, Business and Financial History, 1996, 6 (1), 51-71.

Hampton, M.P. "Exploring the Offshore Interface: the relationship between tax havens, tax evasion, corruption and economic development." Crime, Law and Social Change,1996, 24 (4), 293-317.

Hampton, M.P. "Creating Spaces. The Political Economy of Island Offshore Finance Centres: the case of Jersey." Geographische Zeitschrift, 1996, 84 (2), 103-113.

Hampton, M.P. and Christensen, J. "The British Isle Offshore Finance Centres of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man: Should the Onshore State Act?" Tax Notes International, 1999, 18 (2) 207- 214

Hampton, M.P. and Levi, M. "Fast Spinning into Oblivion? Recent Developments in Money Laundering Policies and Offshore Finance Centres." Third World Quarterly, 1999, 20 (3) 645-656.

Hampton, M.P., and Christensen, J. "Treasure Island Revisited. Jersey' s Offshore Finance Centre crisis: implications for other Small Island Economies." Environment and Planning A,1999, 31 (9) 1619-1637.

Christensen, J. and Hampton, M. "Tax havens: All good things come to an end." The World Today,1999, 55 (8-9) 14-17.

Christensen, J. and Hampton, M. "The Economics of Offshore: Who Wins, Who Loses?" The Financial Regulator, 2000, 4 (4) 24-26.

Hampton, M.P. "Mapping the Minefield: Theories of Island Offshore Finance Centres with reference to Jersey." Chapter 5 in Banking and Finance in Islands and Small States, Bowe, M., Briguglio, L., and Dean, J., (Eds) Pinter, London. May 1998.

Hampton, M.P. "Accident or Design? The Role of the State in Jersey's Development as an Offshore Finance Centre. Chapter 12 in Competing Strategies of Socio-Economic Development for Small Islands. Baldacchino, G., and Greenwood, R., (Eds) Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. September 1998.

Christensen, J., and Hampton, M.P. "A Legislature for Hire: the Capture of the State in Jersey's Offshore Finance Centre." Chapter 7 in Offshore Finance Centres and Tax Havens: the Rise of Global Capital. Hampton, M.P., and Abbott, J.P. (Eds) Macmillan, Basingstoke and Purdue University Press, Indiana. May 1999.

Hampton, M.P. Small but Smart, or Small and Out-Smarted? Microstates, Offshore Finance and Economic Vulnerability. Chapter 21 in Public Administration in Development, Collins, P., (Ed), John Wiley, Chichester, March 2000.

This is an example of Dr Mark Hampton's critical analysis of Jersey. It is interesting that the article appears to focus on purely negative aspects of Jersey's economy, in contrast to the more constructive suggestions shown to other islands by ISISA (whose Secretary is Dr Mark Hampton).

Abtract from "The World Today", August/September 1999:

TAX HAVENS: All Good Things Come to an End, by John Christensen and Mark Hampton

Like a host of other micro-states which are predominantly tax havens and offshore finance centres, the Channel Islands have been identified by a variety of agencies, including the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as global problems. In the estimation of the OECD, they are sufficiently threatening to merit inclusion on a hit list of islands in the sun. What has happened to bring these obscure statelets under international scrutiny?

The tourism campaign for Jersey, largest of the British Channel Islands, proclaims this tiny island as ‘A World Apart’. Photographs of craggy inlets and empty beaches reinforce the image of a place disconnected in time and space from neighbouring mainland European states. Seen from the metropolitan viewpoint, however, the notion of ‘A World Apart’ has acquired an altogether less attractive image.

John Christensen is Director of Economics of Menas Associates. He was previously Economic Adviser to the States of Jersey.

Dr Mark Hampton is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, and co-editor of Offshore Finance Centres and Tax Havens: the Rise of Global Capital (London: Macmillan. 1999).

Abstract: The Capture of the State in Jersey's Offshore Finance Centre

John Christensen and Mark Hampton

Many small island economies (SIEs) and micro-states host offshore finance centres (OFCs). Their low tax, minimalist regulatory regimes and bank secrecy make these OFCs highly attractive to global financial capitalism. The uneven relationship between the transnational financial institutions operating offshore and their SIE / micro-state hosts results in the latter competing to accommodate their fiscal and regulatory structures to the interests of financial capital. The rapid growth of 'offshore' has led to transnational companies restructuring their affairs to avoid tax in most of the jurisdictions within which they operate. Financial capital - encouraged by the relative weakness of many nation states to develop effective political responses to this threat of fiscal and regulatory degradation - uses its presence in OFCs to exert leverage on larger economies to obtain conditions more favourable to its interests.

Jersey was amongst the first SIEs to develop an OFC and by the 1980s was heavilty dependent upon the foreign earnings of its OFC. The island's advantages (fiscal independence; proximity to London; political stability; and effective bank secrecy) make it highly attractive to financial capital.

However, whereas during the early stages of the development of its OFC Jersey appeared to be successfully managing its dependence upon offshore finance, this paper argues that the OFC - acting as a 'cuckoo in the nest' - has not only become the ascendant industrial sector, but has also become the dominant partner in its relatioship with the island's state, significantly transforming the local political economy.

September 1998

Discussion paper number 119 , Department of Economics , University of Portsmouth

Where currents meet: the offshore interface between corruption, offshore finance centres and economic development

Mark P. Hampton

The connections between economic development, corruption and the increasingly globalise financial system are not yet fully understood. In this article we examine tax havens and Offshore Finance Centres (OFCs) which form an interface between developed countries and LDCs. The central argument is that the existence of these financial channels facilitates and can even encourage onshore corruption. The combination of new technology with strict bank secrecy in the 'private banking' offshore networks of major banks allows rapid and non-transparent international flows of funds, creating an increasing synergy between the offshore interface, globalisation and onshore corruption

( Institute of Development Studies, Sussex)

Fast spinning into oblivion? Recent developments in money-laundering policies and offshore finance centres

Mark P Hampton & Michael Levi Third World Quarterly

"This article examines the growth of Caribbean OFCs since the 1960s and the role of the regulation of financial services. As such it will begin to reveal some of the mechanisms involved in how international funds gravitate towards such safe havens" (p645).

Hampton is principal lecturer in economics at the Portsmouth Business School, Univerity of Portsmouth; Levi is professor of criminology at Cardiff University.


Exploring the Relationship between Tourism and Offshore Finance in Small Island Economies.

by Mark P. Hampton - UNIVERSITY OF SURREY (Presenter) and John E Christensen - Menas Associates, UK

Presentation at the 2003 AGM of the Association of American Geographers


Many small island economies (SIEs) host two major service industries: tourism and offshore finance. Existing research on the impacts of these activities has tended to focus either on tourism or offshore finance. This paper discusses the fundamental question: what is the nature of the relationship(s) between these two global industries co-existing in small islands? Is there any relationship between these two separate sectors? If there is a relationship, is there any discernable family ‘resemblance’, that is, shared characteristics that may be identified, or is the nature of the relationship more one of rivalry?

This paper discusses the nature of the relationships between these two sectors within SIEs. First, the common characteristics to both industries are analysed. Arguably, tourism and offshore finance may be seen as advanced global forms of capitalism, and both tend to be dominated by trans-national corporations (often owned and headquartered off-island). Profits from the island commonly flow to larger, mainland economies. Also, both industries demand labor, land and capital, which in SIEs are usually in short supply. Given their common characteristics, the nature of the relations and the competition between the two sectors is investigated.

Secondly, given the unusual context of small polities and the political power of external actors, the paper analyses the dynamics of the central relationship between tourism, offshore finance and the state in SIEs, and linkages to the state. Finally, the paper considers the overall impact of the relationship between tourism and offshore finance and how this may affect island economic development.

Thesis Information - posted by Mark Hampton on March 02, 1995

Dear All,

I'm Mark Hampton, Lecturer in Modern Economic History here at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

 I've just submitted my PhD thesis on offshore finance centres (tax havens) in small island economies. My research examined whether the British Channel Island of Jersey's success as an island OFC is replicable by other small islands.

My work develops a model to understand why the UK government was so tolerant of offshore finance; first in London: ie the Eurocurrency markets from the 1960s; then in its nearby island territories like Jersey, Isle of Man etc. I explored the Marxist Fractions of Capital idea (developed by Coakley and Harris) and compared the UK - where arguably financial capital is the dominant fraction (over industrial capital) - and the US where banks have arguably been constrained by the federal government since the 1930s & the Glass-Steagall Act. Thus if US financial capital has been effectively hamstrung by the state, it may partly explain the US draconian attitude towards offshore finance centres in the Caribbean etc...

 My other research interests (apart from OFCs and the development problems of island economies) include an increasing interest in SE Asia and its rapid industrialisation; and the variety of 'colonial' experiences eg the differences between say, French territories and British...

anyhow enough of all this woffle about me: I'm glad Global Change is up & running, looking forwrd to learning a lot & widening my contacts...



 Mark P. Hampton
Lecturer in Modern Economic History
Department of Economics
University of Portsmouth
Hampshire PO4 8LW