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The political economy debate on ‘financialisation’ – a macroeconomic perspective

  • Till van Treeck

    ()

    (IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation)

A number of important contributions to the political economy literature have argued that changes in the financial sector have been amongst the main reflections, or even the driving forces, of recent transformations of capitalism in the rich countries. This hypothesis has been referred to as 'financialisation'. We argue in this article that the interdisciplinary literature could be enriched if the macroeconomic dimension of financialisation was more explicitly taken into account. In particular, important macroeconomic constraints regarding the determination of profits, in the face of a decreasing importance of physical investment and an increased importance of financial operations, are often not explicitly considered. We compare our macroeconomic approach with contributions from different strands in the existing literature, including empirical analyses of new patterns of profit generation, the 'varieties of capitalism' approach, the British 'social accounting' literature, and the French 'regulationist' literature. Our theoretical framework is illustrated by means of an empirical comparison of the effects of financialisation in the USA and in Germany.

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Paper provided by IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute in its series IMK Working Paper with number 01-2008.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:01-2008
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  1. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2004. "Financialisation and the slowdown of accumulation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 719-741, September.
  2. Vitols, Sigurt, 2001. "The origins of bank-based and market-based financial systems: Germany, Japan, and the United States," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 01-302, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. James Crotty, 2005. "The Neoliberal Paradox: The Impact of Destructive Product Market Competition and Impatient Finance on Nonfinancial Corporations in the Neoliberal Era," Research Briefs rb2003-5, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  4. John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Shiva Rajgopal, 2004. "The Economic Implications of Corporate Financial Reporting," NBER Working Papers 10550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Till van Treeck, 2009. "A synthetic, stock--flow consistent macroeconomic model of 'financialisation'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 467-493, May.
  6. Eckhard Hein & Till van Treeck, 2007. "'Financialisation' in Kaleckian/Post-Kaleckian models of distribution and growth," IMK Working Paper 07-2007, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  7. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  8. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 351.
  9. Mayer, Colin, 1988. "New issues in corporate finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1167-1183, June.
  10. Eckhard Hein & Achim Truger, 2005. "What ever happened to Germany? Is the decline of the former european key currency country caused by structural sclerosis or by macroeconomic mismanagement?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 3-28.
  11. Till van Treeck, 2008. "Reconsidering The Investment-Profit Nexus In Finance-Led Economies: An Ardl-Based Approach," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 371-404, 07.
  12. Henry G. Manne, 1965. "Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 110.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
  14. Lavoie, M., 1992. "A Post-Keynesian Approach to Consumer Choice," Working Papers 9217e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  15. Lavoie, Marc, 2004. "Post Keynesian consumer theory: Potential synergies with consumer research and economic psychology," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 639-649, October.
  16. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2007. "Some Stylized Facts on the Finance-Dominated Accumulation Regime," Working Papers wp142, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  17. Peter Skott & Soon Ryoo, 2007. "Macroeconomic implications of financialization," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2007-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  18. Massimo Guidolin & Elizabeth A. La Jeunesse, 2007. "The decline in the U.S. personal saving rate: is it real and is it a puzzle?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 491-514.
  19. Michael C. Jensen, 2005. "Agency Costs of Overvalued Equity," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 34(1), Spring.
  20. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2006. "Shareholder value orientation and the investment-profit puzzle," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 28(2), pages 193-215, January.
  21. Amit Bhaduri & Kazimierz Laski & Martin Riese, 2006. "A Model Of Interaction Between The Virtual And The Real Economy," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 412-427, 07.
  22. Corbett, Jenny & Jenkinson, Tim, 1997. "How Is Investment Financed? A Study of Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(0), pages 69-93, Supplemen.
  23. Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson, 1998. "Stock Market Fluctuations and Consumption Behaviour: Some Recent Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 208, OECD Publishing.
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