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Financial Systems, Economic Growth, and Globalization

In: Globalization in Historical Perspective

  • Peter L. Rousseau
  • Richard Sylla

This paper brings together two strands of the economic literature -- that on the finance-growth nexus and that on capital market integration -- and explores key issues surrounding each strand through both institutional/country histories and formal quantitative analysis. We begin with studies of the Dutch Republic, England, the U.S., France, Germany and Japan that span three centuries, detailing how in each case the emergence of a financial system jump-started economic growth. Using a cross-country panel of seventeen countries covering the 1850-1997 period, we then uncover a robust correlation between financial factors and economic growth that is consistent with a leading role for finance, and show that these effects were strongest over the 80 years preceding the Great Depression. Next, we show that countries with more sophisticated financial systems engage in more trade and appear to be better integrated with other economies by identifying roles for both finance and trade in the convergence of interest rates that occurred among the Atlantic economies prior to 1914. Our results suggest that the growth and increasing globalization of these economies might indeed have been 'finance-led.'

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This chapter was published in:
  • Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Globalization in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord03-1, September.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9594.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9594
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    1. Davis,Lance E. & Cull,Robert J., 2002. "International Capital Markets and American Economic Growth, 1820–1914," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521526449, September.
    2. Bordo, Michael D. & Rockoff, Hugh, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 389-428, June.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rousseau, P. L. & Wachtel, P., 2000. "Equity markets and growth: Cross-country evidence on timing and outcomes, 1980-1995," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1933-1957, December.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 1633, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1986. "International Finance," NBER Working Papers 2077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Murphy, Antoin E., 1997. "John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-maker," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286493, December.
    8. Sebastian Edwards, 1997. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," NBER Working Papers 5978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    10. Bell, Clive & Rousseau, Peter L., 2001. "Post-independence India: a case of finance-led industrialization?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 153-175, June.
    11. Miwa, Yoshiro & Ramseyer, J Mark, 2000. "Corporate Governance in Transitional Economies: Lessons from the Prewar Japanese Cotton Textile Industry," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 171-203, January.
    12. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    13. Rousseau, Peter L. & Sylla, Richard, 2005. "Emerging financial markets and early US growth," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-26, January.
    14. Miwa Yoshiro & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2000. "Banks and Economic Growth: Implications from Japanese History," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-87, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    15. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1996. "Stock markets, banks, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1690, The World Bank.
    16. Rousseau, Peter L., 1998. "The permanent effects of innovation on financial depth:: Theory and US historical evidence from unobservable components models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 387-425, July.
    17. Rousseau, Peter L., 1999. "Finance, investment, and growth in Meiji-era Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 185-198, April.
    18. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
    19. Eugene White, 1999. "France and the Failure to Modernize Macroeconomic Institutions," Departmental Working Papers 199904, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    20. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
    21. Hoffman, Philip T. & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2001. "Priceless Markets," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226348018, March.
    22. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    23. Rousseau, Peter L & Wachtel, Paul, 1998. "Financial Intermediation and Economic Performance: Historical Evidence from Five Industrialized Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 657-78, November.
    24. Yoshiro Miwa & J. Mark Ramseyer, 2001. "Property Rights and Indigenous Tradition Among Early 20th Century Japanese Firms," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-104, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
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