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Convergence of financial systems: Towards an evolutionary perspective


  • Werner Hölzl

    () (Vienna University of Economics & B.A.)


This paper provides an evolutionary perspective on financial systems based on complex systems theory. This perspective is used to organize the discussion about the convergence and non-convergence of financial systems. In recent years the discussion about the relative merits and the efficiency of market- and bank-based financial systems is subject to considerable academic and policy debate throughout the world. Bank- and market-based systems are found to give rise to different economic and corporate dynamics. Based on a notion of financial systems as configuration of complementary elements, it is suggested that the convergence of financial systems is best conceptualized as path dependent process of institutional change. This is illustrated with special reference to the recent developments of convergence of financial systems in Europe. The implication of the evolutionary perspective on financial systems is that neither theories using a simple evolutionary argument of survival of the fittest nor theories related to a institutional ossification perspective can provide much guidance for analyzing the transformations of financial systems. A multilevel institutional analysis which takes the interdependencies between national and firm-level institutions explicitly into account is required.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Hölzl, 2003. "Convergence of financial systems: Towards an evolutionary perspective," Working Papers geewp31, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwgee:geewp31 Note: PDF Document

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno, Giuseppe & De Bonis, Riccardo & Silvestrini, Andrea, 2012. "Do financial systems converge? New evidence from financial assets in OECD countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 141-155.
    2. Simplice A. Asongu, 2014. "African financial development dynamics: big time convergence," African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 160-194, July.
    3. James Weber & David Wasieleski, 2013. "Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs: A Report, Analysis and Critique," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(4), pages 609-626, February.
    4. Valérie Revest & Alessandro Sapio, 2012. "Financing technology-based small firms in Europe: what do we know?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 179-205, July.
    5. Nedelchev, Miroslav, 2012. "Корпоративно Управление На Финансови Посредници: Конвергенция И Дивергенция
      [Corporate Governance Of Financial Intermediaries: Convergence And Divergence]
      ," MPRA Paper 52268, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Simplice A. Asongu, 2013. "African Stock Market Performance Dynamics: A Multidimensional Convergence Assessment," Journal of African Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 186-201, December.
    7. Jackie Krafft & Yiping Qu & Francesco Quatraro & Jacques-Laurent Ravix, 2014. "Corporate governance, value and performance of firms: new empirical results on convergence from a large international database," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 361-397.
    8. Dilli, Selin & Elert, Niklas, 2016. "The Diversity of Entrepreneurial Regimes in Europe," Working Paper Series 1118, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    9. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00786664 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Chang, Tsangyao & Chen, Wen-Yi & Gupta, Rangan & Nguyen, Duc Khuong, 2015. "Are stock prices related to the political uncertainty index in OECD countries? Evidence from the bootstrap panel causality test," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 288-300.
    11. Nedelchev, Miroslav, 2012. "Corporate governance of financial intermediaries: convergence and divergence," MPRA Paper 53939, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Giofré, Maela, 2013. "Investor protection rights and foreign investment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 506-526.

    More about this item


    Institutional convergence; financial system; NK model; systems competition; path dependency; corporate governance;

    JEL classification:

    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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