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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, July.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9594.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9594
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 2000. "Emerging Financial Markets and Early U.S. Growth," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0015, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 1997. "The Great Depression as a Watershed: International Capital Mobility over the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 5960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Miwa, Yoshiro & Ramseyer, J Mark, 2002. "Banks and Economic Growth: Implications from Japanese History," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 127-64, April.
    4. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    5. Michael D. Bordo, 1995. "The Gold Standard as a `Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval'," NBER Working Papers 5340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Bencivenga, Valerie R & Smith, Bruce D, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209, April.
    10. Maurice Obstfeld, 1986. "International Finance," NBER Working Papers 2077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Clive Bell & Peter L. Rousseau, 2000. "Post-Independence India: A Case of Finance-Led Industrialization?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0019, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    12. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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, June.
    16. Murphy, Antoin E., 1997. "John Law: Economic Theorist and Policy-maker," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286493.
    17. 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.
    18. Eugene White, 1999. "France and the Failure to Modernize Macroeconomic Institutions," Departmental Working Papers 199904, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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