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Structural Reforms for Growth and Cohesion

Lessons and Challenges for CESEE Countries and a Modern Europe

Edited by Ewald Nowotny, Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald and Helene Schuberth

Effective and well-designed structural reforms are key to shaping Europe’s future in the context of the formidable challenges facing the continent today. This book examines the achievements and failures of past structural policies so that future ones can be adapted to address remaining and newly emerging challenges with greater success. Highlighting the social aspects and distributional effects of reforms that go beyond liberalization and deregulation, the book covers key issues facing future Europe, particularly those arising from technological innovation.
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Alina Mungiu-Pippidi

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Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Ross Levine

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Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Ross Levine

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Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Ross Levine

This research review brings together major contributions to the study of finance and growth. It considers conceptual and empirical papers that use a range of methodologies to discover the connections between financial systems——including financial contracts, markets, and intermediaries——and the functioning of the economy——including economic growth, entrepreneurship, technological innovation, poverty alleviation, the distribution of income, and the structure and volatility of economies. It also discusses contributions to the study of the legal, political, institutional, social capital and policy determinants of financial development.
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Asli Demirgüç-Kunt and Ross Levine

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Thorsten Beck

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.

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Howard Bodenhorn

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.

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Thorsten Beck and W. Scott Frame

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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William Summerhill

Following independence, the government of Brazil borrowed repeatedly without default. Not only did it obtain long-term loans in London, it defied “original sin” by borrowing significant amounts from the domestic market. Most of the internal debt was in paper currency without a fixed maturity, and by the 1850s was larger than the external debt. Parliamentary authority over fiscal and debt policy helped to credibly commit the government to repay. Commitment did not, however, lead to a financial revolution. On the contrary, private interest rates remained high even as the government’s cost of borrowing fell. Highly centralized political institutions concentrated authority in the hands of a narrow political elite, which restricted incorporation in general and the creation of banks in particular. The result was successful sovereign borrowing with financial underdevelopment.