This chapter discusses financial innovation fueled by technological change over the past decades in both developing and developed countries. We discuss the positive growth effects but also possible fragility risks from different types of financial innovations. We critically review the experience with different product, process and organizational innovations.
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Thorsten Beck and W. Scott Frame
Do efficient financial markets and institutions promote economic growth? Have they done so in the past? In this chapter the author surveys a large and diverse historical literature that explores the connection between finance and growth in US history. The US financial system was important in mobilizing savings, allocating capital, exerting corporate control, and mitigating borrower opportunism. A wide variety of intermediaries characterized US finance – commercial banks, savings banks, building and loan associations, mortgage companies, investment banks and securities markets – which emerged to fill specific financial niches, compete with and complement the activities of existing intermediaries. The weight of the evidence is consistent with the interpretation that finance facilitated and encouraged growth. Despite the breadth and diversity of approaches, there remain many potentially fruitful lines of further inquiry.
This chapter surveys possible factors explaining cross-country variation in the development and stability of the financial system. Specifically, it distinguishes between the (1) policy view, which focuses on specific policies and institutions to strengthen and deepen the financial sector; (2) the political economy view, which regards the level and structure of financial development and the underlying institutional infrastructure a function of political decision processes; and (3) the historical view, which focuses on exogenous determinants of financial sector development related to geographic endowments and history and the persistence in the level and structure of financial systems.
Jan Fagerberg, David C. Mowery and Bart Verspagen
This paper analyses the co-evolution of science, technolgy and innovation policy and industrial structure in a small, open resource-based economy (Norway) The contributions of the paper are threefold. First, it develops an evolutionary and historically oriented approach to the study of the development of these policies that may have wide applicability. Second, it focuses on a particular type of innovation, innovation in resource-based activities, that differs in many respects from the more commonly studied case of innovation in 'high-tech' industries. Third, the paper advances our understanding of the roles played by institutions and politics in innovation.
Jan Fagerberg and Manuel M. Godinho
The history of capitalism from the Industrial Revolution onwards is one of increasing differences in productivity and living conditions across different parts of the globe. According to one source, 250 years ago the difference in income or productivity per head betwen the richest and poorest country in the world was approximately 5:1, while today this difference has increased to 400:1 (Landes 1998). However in spite of this long-run trend towards divergence in productivity and income, there are many examples of (initially) backward countries that–at different times–have manged to narrow the gap in productivity and income between themselves and the frontier countries, in other words, to "catch up". How did they do it? What was the role of innovation and diffusion in the process? These are among the questions we are going to discuss in this chapter.
The Nordic countries are among the richest in Europe and globally. They are known for having a more equal distribution of income than elsewhere, for highly organized, regulated and inclusive labor markets, for universal welfare states and for well-developed and free education systems.