How Important Historically Were Financial Systems for Growth in the U.K., U.S., Germany, and Japan?
The case studies for each country survey the literature on the role of their financial systems in their development. The sources of finance for industrial development include (i) banks, (ii) securities markets, (iii) internal finance, (iv) alternative sources of finance such as angel finance, trade credit, families, and friends, and (v) governments. All four countries had sophisticated financial systems and all four grew successfully. The fact that they had different financial systems suggests that if there is an optimal financial structure for a country it does not lead to a significantly greater level of growth than other possible structures. The experiences of the four countries considered suggest that a variety of financial structures can lead to high rates of growth in real per capita GDP.
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