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City Size and Financial Development

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  • Becker, Bo

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Stock markets tend to be few in each country, often unique, and located in the largest cities. Typically, much of the economic activity relating to the stock market takes places in this large city. These facts suggest that agglomeration economies are important. In other words, productivity is enhanced for stock market-workers and -firms located in a large city. After discussing this prima facie evidence of agglomeration economies, we consider the cross-country implications. Countries with larger cities will have better developed stock markets because they can benefit from stronger agglomeration economies surrounding the stock market. This provides an economic theory of financial development which is complementary to the standard legal and political theories of financial development. We establish that city size is a robust determinant of stock market size and activity, but not of other types of financial development (banks). We show that this is not driven by reverse causality and that it is not driven by small or new stock markets. Finally, we show that alternative measures of a country's geography, such as urbanization and the population of the second largest city, do not predict stock market development, implying that we do not capture some alternative geographic effect. We conclude that there is a significant positive effect of city size on stock market development, that this reflects agglomeration economies. This explains why countries with large cities have better developed stock markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Financial Research in its series SIFR Research Report Series with number 46.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sifrwp:0046

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Keywords: City size; agglomeration economies; financial development;

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References

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  1. Glenn Allison & Drew Fudenberg, 2002. "Competing Auctions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1960, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Ashoka Mody & Abdul Abiad, 2003. "Financial Reform," IMF Working Papers 03/70, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Efraim Benmelech & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2007. "The Political Economy of Financial Regulation: Evidence from U.S. State Usury Laws in the 19th Century," NBER Working Papers 12851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  5. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
  6. Gehrig, Thomas, 1998. "Competing markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 277-310, February.
  7. Braun, Matias & Raddatz, Claudio, 2005. "Trade liberalization and the politics of financial development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3517, The World Bank.
  8. Abdul Abiad & Ashoka Mody, 2005. "Financial Reform: What Shakes It? What Shapes It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 66-88, March.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "Urban Colossus: Why is New York America's Largest City?," NBER Working Papers 11398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Braun, Matias, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and the Politics of Financial Development," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt70v7f9ff, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2012. "Information Disclosure and Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 195-234, 02.
  2. Ridhwan, M.M. & Nijkamp, P. & Rietveld, P., 2008. "Regional development and monetary policy : a review of the role of monetary unions, capital mobility and locational effects," Serie Research Memoranda 0007, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  3. Dreber, Anna & Rand, David G. & Garcia, Justin R. & Wernerfelt, Nils & Lum, J. Koji & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "Dopamine and Risk Preferences in Different Domains," SIFR Research Report Series 71, Institute for Financial Research.
  4. Rydqvist, Kristian, 2010. "Tax Arbitrage with Risk and Effort Aversion - Swedish Lottery Bonds 1970-1990," SIFR Research Report Series 70, Institute for Financial Research.

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