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Financial Markets and Twentieth Century Industrialization: Evidence From U.S. and Canadian Steel Producers


  • Ian Keay

    () (Department of Economics, Queen's University)

  • Angela Redish

    () (Department of Economics, University of British Columbia)


Despite the diverse and developed nature of twentieth century U.S. and Canadian financial markets, the history of both economies is replete with claims of inefficiency and inadequacy among financial intermediaries, particularly the banking sectors. In Canada it has been argued that banks were oligopolistic and favoured an entrenched merchant class over industrialists. In the U.S. the unit banking system has been perceived as unstable and of an inefficiently small scale. This paper examines the experiences of a set of firms from a large and economically important manufacturing industry; primary steel production; in an effort to determine the impact differences in macro financial markets have had on micro financial decision making. We find statistically significant, but not necessarily economically important, relationships among national capital market characteristics, firms' financing decisions, and firms' capital costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Keay & Angela Redish, 2002. "Financial Markets and Twentieth Century Industrialization: Evidence From U.S. and Canadian Steel Producers," Working Papers 1003, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
    2. Brander, James A. & Lewis, Tracy R., 1986. "Oligopoly and Financial Structure: The Limited Liability Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 956-970, December.
    3. Fohlin, Caroline., 2000. "Economic, Political, and Legal Factors in Financial System Development: International Patterns in Historical Perspective"," Working Papers 1089, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    4. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
    5. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A Re-Examination of the Modigliani-Miller Theorem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 784-793, December.
    6. 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 657-678, November.
    7. Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-922, September.
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    More about this item


    North American Industrialization; Capital Market Development; Financial Intermediation;

    JEL classification:

    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • 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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