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Decentralized versus centralized financial systems: is there a case for local capital markets?

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  • Britta Klagge
  • Ron Martin

Abstract

In recent years, stimulated by globalization, technological innovation and intensifying international competition, there has been a growing trend towards the increasing institutional and geographical concentration of financial systems and markets. At the same time, there has been mounting academic and policy interest in the financing problems faced by new and small firms, which are widely considered to suffer from a 'funding gap'. These twin developments provide the motivation for this paper, which seeks to throw some theoretical and empirical light on the question of whether the spatial organization of the financial system impacts on the flows of capital to small firms across regions. Is it the case that a heavily spatially-centralized financial system, like that in the UK, militates against the ready access to capital by new and small firms in peripheral regions, while a more decentralized financial system, like that in Germany, results in a more even regional distribution? The paper first discusses this question theoretically in the context of the regional finance literature. It then compares capital market structures and the regional distribution of equity for SMEs in the UK and Germany. This comparison lends some support to the view that capital markets do not function in a space-neutral way, and that a highly centralized system like that in the UK may well introduce spatial bias in the flows of capital to SMEs. It also shows, though, as the case of Germany illustrates, that the actual impact of the geographical organization of capital markets depends on, and is mitigated by, other institutional and regulatory conditions. Our analysis suggests while a geographically decentralized financial system with sizable and well-embedded regional/local clusters of institutions, networks, agents, and markets could be advantageous in various ways, regional/local capital markets also face a number of major challenges and problems. The paper indicates the need for more research in this somewhat neglected area. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 387-421

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:5:y:2005:i:4:p:387-421

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Cited by:
  1. Christian E. Weller & Ghazal Zulfiqar, 2013. "Financial Market Diversity and Macroeconomic Stability," Working Papers wp332, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  2. Augusto de la Torre & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2007. "Emerging Capital Markets and Globalization : The Latin American Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7187.
  3. Pennacchio, Luca & Del Monte, Alfredo & Acconcia, Antonio, 2010. "Underpricing and distance: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 20273, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Gärtner, Stefan & Flögel, Franz, 2014. "Call for a Spatial Classification of Banking Systems through the Lens of SME Finance - Decentralized versus Centralized Banking in Germany as an Example," EconStor Preprints 97512, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  5. José Ernesto Amoros & Christian Felzensztein & Eli Gimmon, 2011. "Entrepreneurial opportunities in peripheral versus core regions in Chile," Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Working Paper Series 1106, Global Entrepreneurship Research Association, revised Sep 2011.
  6. Pietro Alessandrini & Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Alberto Zazzaro, 2008. "Global Banking and Local Markets," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 4, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  7. Marco Crocco & Fabiana Santos & Pedro Amaral, 2009. "The spatial structure of the financial development in Brazil," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td361, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
  8. Carolin Häussler & Hans-Martin Zademach, 2007. "Cluster Performance Reconsidered: Structure, Linkages and Paths in the German Bioteehnology Industry, 1996-2003," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 59(3), pages 261-281, July.
  9. Lang, Gunnar, 2012. "Lessons of the financial crisis for the attractiveness of European financial centers," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Gál, Zoltán & Burger, Csaba, 2013. "A vidék bankjai?. A magyar takarékszövetkezeti szektor hitelezési aktivitása
    [Local finance?. Lending activity by the Hungarian cooperative banking sector]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 373-401.
  11. Battistin, Erich & Graziano, Clara & Parigi, Bruno M., 2012. "Connections and performance in bankers’ turnover," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 470-487.
  12. Hearn, Bruce, 2014. "The liquidity cost implications arising from the attraction of regional primary listings: Evidence from West Africa," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 91-110.

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