IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wop/pennin/95-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of the Financial Sector in Economic Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Richard J. Herring
  • Anthony M. Santomero

Abstract

What distinguished financial institutions from other firms is the relatively small share of real assets on their balance sheets. Thus, the direct impact of financial institutions on the real economy is relatively minor. The indirect impact of financial markets and institutions on economic performance is extraordinarily important. The financial sector mobilizes savings and allocates credit across space and time. It provides not only payment services, but also enables firms and households to cope with economic uncertainties by hedging, pooling, sharing and pricing risks. An efficient financial sector reduces the cost and risk of producing and trading goods and services and thus makes an important contribution to raising the standard of living. The authors begin their analysis by considering how an economy would perform without a financial sector and then proceed to introduce a simplified financial sector with direct financial transactions between savers and investors. Financial intermediaries are introduced which transform the direct obligations of investors into indirect obligations of financial intermediaries which have attributes that savers prefer. This approach emphasizes how the financial sector can improve both the quantity and quality of real investment and thereby increase income per capita. The authors then consider the role of government in supporting an efficient financial sector. However, the authors show that not all government intervention is beneficial. They demonstrate the potentially detrimental effects of regulation on both the financial structure and the real economy. They also emphasize the competitive forces that influence the ultimate impact of regulations. Technological trends in telecommunications and computation seem likely to increase the ease with which users and providers of financial services can circumvent burdensome regulations, according to the authors. This has led to calls for reduction in the overall restrictions on financial firms, as well as for international harmonization of regulations regarding safety and soundness, insider trading and taxation. The authors examine how to quantify the gains to the economy from improving the efficiency of the financial sector and the potential social gains and costs which may result from the formation of financial conglomerates. The authors then consider pressures for international harmonization of financial regulation, contrasting institutional regulation with functional regulation. The authors conclude that efficient financial markets require an infrastructure of laws, conventions and regulation. Most of all, an efficient financial system requires confidence. Confidence encourages investors to allocate their savings through financial markets and institutions rather than to buy non-productive assets as a store of value. The authors suggest that such confidence can be fostered by appropriate regulation of institutions and markets to ensure users of financial services that they will receive fair treatment. According to the authors, the challenge is to foster a static and dynamically efficient financial system while maintaining sufficient regulatory oversight to promote confidence in the safety and soundness of the financial system.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Herring & Anthony M. Santomero, 1991. "The Role of the Financial Sector in Economic Performance," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 95-08, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:95-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/95/9508.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mayer, Colin, 1988. "New issues in corporate finance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1167-1183, June.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 107-126.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Sydney J. Key, 1989. "Mutual recognition: integration of the financial sector in the European Community," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Sep, pages 591-609.
    5. George J. Benston & George G. Kaufman, 1988. "Risk and solvency regulation of depository institutions: past policies and current options," Staff Memoranda 88-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Guttentag, Jack & Herring, Richard, 1986. "Disclosure policy and international banking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 75-97, March.
    7. Gilligan, Thomas & Smirlock, Michael & Marshall, William, 1984. "Scale and scope economies in the multi-product banking firm," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 393-405, May.
    8. Santomero, Anthony M., 1989. "The changing structure of financial institutions: a review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 321-328, September.
    9. Mester, Loretta J., 1992. "Traditional and nontraditional banking: An information-theoretic approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 545-566, June.
    10. Black, Fischer & Miller, Merton H & Posner, Richard A, 1978. "An Approach to the Regulation of Bank Holding Companies," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 379-412, July.
    11. Kareken, John H & Wallace, Neil, 1978. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Regulation: A Partial-Equilibrium Exposition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 413-438, July.
    12. Jeffrey A. Clark, 1988. "Economies of scale and scope at depository financial institutions: a review of the literature," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep, pages 16-33.
    13. Guttentag, Jack & Herring, Richard, 1984. " Credit Rationing and Financial Disorder," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1359-1382, December.
    14. Panzar, John C & Willig, Robert D, 1981. "Economies of Scope," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 268-272, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Frances X. Frei & Patrick T. Harker & Larry W. Hunter, 2000. "Innovation in Retail Banking," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-48, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:95-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/fiupaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.