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Experiencing financialisation in small open economies: An empirical investigation of Ireland and Iceland


  • Hamid Raza

    (University of Limerick)

  • Bjorn Gudmundsson

    (University of Iceland)

  • Stephen Kinsella

    (University of Limerick)

  • Gylfi Zoega

    (University of Iceland)


We examine the macroeconomic factors associated with financialisation in Ireland and Iceland from the perspective of international capital flows. To understand financialisation in the two countries we construct three ARDL models using three aspects of financialisation: financial depth, credit growth and deposit liabilities of the financial sector. Focusing on the current account, we find that financialisation is associated with an increase in foreign rentiers’ profit due to excessive international borrowing. Our measures of financialisation indicate that trade openness, also a measure of globalisation, has a negative relationship with financialisation in Iceland, while in Ireland the relationship is positive. Our results also suggest that both countries experienced an increase in the wage share along with rapidly increasing household debt in Ireland and increasing non financial corporate debt in Iceland. We conclude that institutional differences played a vital role in the solutions to the crises which destabilised the economies of Ireland and Iceland. We use the institutional differences between the two economies and suggest policy prescriptions to limit the scale and scope of similar crises in small open economies.

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  • Hamid Raza & Bjorn Gudmundsson & Stephen Kinsella & Gylfi Zoega, 2015. "Experiencing financialisation in small open economies: An empirical investigation of Ireland and Iceland," Working papers wpaper84, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:fes:wpaper:wpaper84

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Kinsella, 2012. "Is Ireland really the role model for austerity?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 223-235.
    2. Philip R. Lane, 2014. "International Financial Flows and the Irish Crisis," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(2), pages 14-19, April.
    3. Eckhard Hein & Till Van Treeck, 2010. "Financialisation and Rising Shareholder Power in Kaleckian/Post-Kaleckian Models of Distribution and Growth," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 205-233.
    4. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226081946 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Calderon, Cesar & Liu, Lin, 2003. "The direction of causality between financial development and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 321-334, October.
    6. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
    7. Kelly, Morgan, 2007. "On the likely Extent of Falls in Irish House Prices," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2007(2-Summer), pages 42-54.
    8. Eckhard Hein, 2015. "Finance-dominated capitalism and re-distribution of income: a Kaleckian perspective," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 907-934.
    9. Kim, Dong-Hyeon & Lin, Shu-Chin & Suen, Yu-Bo, 2010. "Dynamic effects of trade openness on financial development," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 254-261, January.
    10. Lancastle, Neil, 2012. "Circuit theory extended: The role of speculation in crises," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 6, pages =1-27.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Thorsteinn Thorgeirsson & Paul van den Noord, 2013. "The Icelandic banking collapse - was the optimal policy path chosen?," Economics wp62, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    14. Thomas Dallery & Till van Treeck, 2011. "Conflicting Claims and Equilibrium Adjustment Processes in a Stock-flow Consistent Macroeconomic Model," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 189-211.
    15. Hein, Eckhard & Dodig, Nina, 2014. "Financialisation, distribution, growth and crises: Long-run tendencies," IPE Working Papers 35/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Eckhard Hein, 2015. "Causes and Consequences of the Financial Crisis and the Implications for a More Resilient Financial and Economic System: Synthesis of FESSUD Work Package 3," Working papers wpaper128, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    2. Guðmundsson, Björn Rúnar, 2015. "Financialisation and financial crisis in Iceland," IPE Working Papers 55/2015, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    3. Hein, Eckhard, 2016. "Causes and consequences of the financial crisis and the implications for a more resilient financial and economic system," IPE Working Papers 61/2016, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).

    More about this item


    Ireland; Iceland; Financialisation.;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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