National Culture and Financial Systems
Countries differ in the way their financial activities are organized. In Anglo-Saxon countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., financial systems are dominated by stock markets whereas in Continental Europe and Japan, banks play a predominant role. Why do countries differ in the configuration of their financial systems? We argue that national culture plays a significant role. We find that countries characterized by higher uncertainty avoidance, as an attribute of their national culture, are more likely to have a bank-based system.
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