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The Evolutionary Chain of International Financial Centers

  • Michele Fratianni

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

Financial products are unstandardized and subject to a great deal of uncertainty. They tend to concentrate geographically because of the reduction in information costs resulting from close contacts. Concentration leads to economies of scale and encourages external economies. Great financial centers enjoy a high degree of persistence but are not immune from decline and eventual demise. Yet, their achievements are passed along in a an evolutionary manner. In revisiting the historical record of seven international financial centers – Florence, Venice, Genoa, Antwerp, Amsterdam, London and New York — the paper finds evidence of a long evolutionary chain of banking and finance. As to the present and the future, the forces of integration are likely to give an additional boost to the persistence of international financial centers.

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Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2007-14.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2007-14
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