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The origins of bank-based and market-based financial systems: Germany, Japan, and the United States

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  • Vitols, Sigurt
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the historical origins of the bank-based financial systems in Germany and Japan and the market-based financial system in the US. It critically examines the “timing of industrialization” (TOI) thesis, i.e. the assertion that variation in the current structure of financial systems can be explained by differences in the timing of the “take-off” phase of industrialization. The first major claim I make is that TOI overstates both the significance of bank-based finance for the rapid industrialization of Germany and Japan and the extent to which the financial systems really were different. Second, I argue that TOI understates the importance of different patterns of state regulation, particularly starting in the 1930s, for explaining postwar differences in the financial systems. The third claim I make is that differences in financial regimes are dependent not only upon the narrow issue of financial regulation but also on the nature of the regulation of labor, including welfare regimes. -- In dem Papier werden die historischen Ursprünge des bankenbasierten Finanzsystems in Deutschland und Japan und des marktbasierten Finanzsystems der Vereinigten Staaten analysiert. Es wird eine kritische Überprüfung der „timing of industrialization“-These (TOI) vorgenommen. Ihre Kernaussage heißt: die Unterschiede in den derzeitigen Strukturen der Finanzsysteme können durch die Unterschiede der Zeitpunkte der „take-off“- Phasen der Industrialisierung erklärt werden. Zuerst wird in dem Papier das Argument entwickelt, dass die TOI-These sowohl die Bedeutung eines bankbasierten Finanzsystems für die schnelle Industrialisierung Deutschlands und Japans als auch das Ausmaß der Unterschiede der Finanzsysteme überbewertet. Zweitens wird argumentiert, dass die TOI-These die Bedeutung unterschiedlicher Formen von staatlicher Regulierung, vor allem die seit den 30er Jahren praktizierten, in ihrer Erklärung der Unterschiede der Nachkriegs-Finanzsysteme unterschätzt. In dem dritten hier entwickelten Argument wird gesagt, dass die Unterschiede in den Finanzregimen nicht nur von dem eher engen Aspekt der Finanzregulierung abhängen, sondern auch davon, wie Arbeit und Sozialsysteme reguliert sind.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment with number FS I 01-302.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbece:fsi01302

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    1. Caroline Fohlin, 1998. "Relationship Banking, Liquidity, and Investment in the German Industrialization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1737-1758, October.
    2. Fohlin, Caroline, 1997. "Bank Structure and Growth: Insights from British and German Balance Sheets Before World War I," Working Papers 1016, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    3. Yabushita Shiro & Inoue Atsushi, 1993. "The Stability of the Japanese Banking System: A Historical Perspective," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 387-407, December.
    4. White, Eugene Nelson, 1986. "Before the Glass-Steagall Act: An analysis of the investment banking activities of national banks," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 33-55, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Till van Treeck, 2008. "The political economy debate on ‘financialisation’ – a macroeconomic perspective," IMK Working Paper 01-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

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