Financial systems, innovation and economic performance
There is growing evidence of international divergence in the performance of newindustries. While the United States is at the forefront of the recent revolution ininformation technologies, European economists and policy makers are concerned thatEurope is falling behind with negative implications for long-term economicperformance. This paper investigates the role of financial systems as a crucialdeterminant of apparent differences in national abilities to promote innovativeactivities in specific sectors. Firstly, a short overview of the relevant finance andinnovation literature is provided, and a synthetic view of the finance-innovation linkis sketched. It is argued that national financial systems have an impact on thestructure of growth through their differing abilities to promote innovation in sector-specifictechnology regimes. Secondly, I apply a simple econometric model to a dataset consisting of 17 OECD countries and 20 manufacturing industries to identifyempirical patterns. The evidence suggests that sectors characterized by hightechnological opportunity and a focus on product innovation perform relatively betterin financial systems with large stock markets, competitive banking sectors and goodaccounting standards. In contrast, the performance of sectors geared towardsinnovation in processes benefits from a more bank-oriented financial system andconcentrated ownership structures.
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