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Financialization and the Global Economy


  • Engelbert Stockhammer


In this chapter from the forthcoming book, The Political Economy of Financial Crises, edited by Gerald Epstein and Martin H. Wolfson, (Oxford University Press, 2012) Engelbert Stockhammer discusses ‘financialization’, i.e. changes in the role of the financial sector. This will highlight (1) changes in household behavior, in particular with regards to household debt, (2) changes in the behaviour of non-financial businesses, such as shareholder value orientation and increased financial activity and (3) changes in the financial sector, in particular the emergence of the (hardly regulated) shadow banking sector, a shift towards household credit (rather than business credit) and a shift to investment banking/fee generating business. Second, the chapter discusses the international dimension of financialization. Here the liberalization of capital flows and its consequences, the determination of exchange rates by capital flows (rather than by current account disequilibria), will be discussed. International financial liberalization has not fulfilled the neoliberal promise of generating investment-based growth, but rather has given rise to a series of financial crises that were typically driven by a swing of capital inflows (‘capital flow bonanza’) followed by capital flow reversals. Third, the chapter offers an interpretation of the finance-dominated accumulation regime as having given rise to two distinct growth models (based on Stockhammer 2010): a credit-financed consumption-driven growth model (mostly in Anglo-Saxon countries) and a export-driven growth model (in Germany, Japan, and, possibly, China). Both growth models suffer from a structural demand deficiency, which is due to wage suppression, but each try to overcome this by different means (credit-financed consumption or export orientation). The chapter thus highlights how financialization with its domestic and international effects have interacted with a polarization of income distribution to generate the structural imbalances that led to the crisis 2007-09.

Suggested Citation

  • Engelbert Stockhammer, 2010. "Financialization and the Global Economy," Working Papers wp240, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp240

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2009. "Determinants of functional income distribution in OECD countries," IMK Studies 05-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Michel Aglietta & Antoine Rebérioux, 2005. "Corporate Governance Adrift," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3675.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:aosoci:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:31-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jacob Assa, 2016. "The Financialization of GDP and its Implications for Macroeconomic Debates," Working Papers 1610, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.
    3. Susan Newman, 2014. "Financialisation and the Financial and Economic Crises: The Case of South Africa," FESSUD studies fstudy26, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    4. Sucre Reyes, M.A., 2014. "Finance, growth and social fairness : Evidence for Latin America and Bolivia," Other publications TiSEM ad514338-1973-4ec9-b5c7-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Mathur, Ike & Singh, Manohar & Nejadmalayeri, Ali & Jiraporn, Pornsit, 2013. "How do bond investors perceive dividend payouts?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 92-105.
    6. Jan Żelazny, 2016. "Zmiany na rynkach towarowych a regulacje nadzorcze w Unii Europejskiej / Changes on Commodity Markets and Regulation in the European Union," International Economics, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, issue 15, pages 199-210, September.
    7. IANCU, Aurel, 2013. "Extending Financialisation and Increasing Fragility of the Financial System," Working Papers of National Institute of Economic Research 130307, National Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Iancu, Aurel, 2013. "Financialisation: Structure, Extent, Consequences," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(2), pages 172-192, June.
    9. Deepankar Basu, 2011. "Financialization, Household Credit and Economic Slowdown in the U.S," Working Papers wp261, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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    JEL classification:

    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other

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