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An Evolutionary Approach to Financial Innovation


  • Marc Oliver Bettzuege
  • Thorsten Hens


The purpose of this paper is to explain why some markets for financial products take off while others vanish as soon as they have emerged. To this end, we model an infinite sequence of CAPM--economies in which financial products can be used for insurance purposes. Agents' participation in these financial products, however, is restricted. Consecutive stage economies are linked by a mapping (�transition function�) which determines the next period's participation structure from the preceding period's participation. The transition function generates a dynamic process of market participation which is driven by the percentage of informed traders and the rate at which a new asset is adopted. We then analyze the evolutionary stability of stationary equilibria. In accordance with the empirical literature on financial innovation, it is obtained that the success of a financial innovation, a mutation, depends on a sufficiently high trading volume, marketing, and new and differentiated hedging opportunities. In particular, a set of complete markets forming a stationary equilibrium is robust with respect to any further financial innovation while this is not necessarily true for a set of incomplete markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Oliver Bettzuege & Thorsten Hens, "undated". "An Evolutionary Approach to Financial Innovation," IEW - Working Papers 035, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:035

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marco Pagano, 1989. "Endogenous Market Thinness and Stock Price Volatility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 269-287.
    2. Duffie Darrell & Rahi Rohit, 1995. "Financial Market Innovation and Security Design: An Introduction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-42, February.
    3. Merton H. Miller, 1992. "Financial Innovation: Achievements And Prospects," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 4(4), pages 4-11.
    4. Magill, Michael & Shafer, Wayne, 1991. "Incomplete markets," Handbook of Mathematical Economics,in: W. Hildenbrand & H. Sonnenschein (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 30, pages 1523-1614 Elsevier.
    5. Merton, Robert C, 1987. " A Simple Model of Capital Market Equilibrium with Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 483-510, July.
    6. Marco Pagano, 1989. "Trading Volume and Asset Liquidity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 255-274.
    7. Pesendorfer Wolfgang, 1995. "Financial Innovation in a General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 79-116, February.
    8. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
    9. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    10. Hara Chiaki, 1995. "Commission-Revenue Maximization in a General Equilibrium Model of Asset Creation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 258-298, February.
    11. Albert S. Kyle, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(3), pages 317-355.
    12. Balasko, Yves & Cass, David & Siconolfi, Paolo, 1990. "The structure of financial equilibrium with exogenous yields : The case of restricted participation," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 195-216.
    13. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
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    More about this item


    Financial Innovation; Evolution; GEI; CAPM;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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