Financial Globalization and Economic Policies

Columbia University
Handbook of Development Economics 03/2009; DOI:10.2139/ssrn.1392949
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT We review the large literature on various economic policies that could help developing economies effectively manage the process of financial globalization. Our central findings indicate that policies promoting financial sector development, institutional quality and trade openness appear to help developing countries derive the benefits of globalization. Similarly, sound macroeconomic policies are an important prerequisite for ensuring that financial integration is beneficial. However, our analysis also suggests that the relationship between financial integration and economic policies is a complex one and that there are unavoidable tensions inherent in evaluating the risks and benefits associated with financial globalization. In light of these tensions, structural and macroeconomic policies often need to be tailored to take into account country specific circumstances to improve the risk-benefit tradeoffs of financial integration. Ultimately, it is essential to see financial integration not just as an isolated policy goal but as part of a broader package of reforms and supportive macroeconomic policies.

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    ABSTRACT: Competition in the financial sector, as in other sectors, matters for allocative, productive, and dynamic efficiency. Theory suggests, however, that unfettered competition is not necessarily best given the special features of financial services. The author discusses these analytical complications before reviewing how to assess competition in the financial sector and its determinants. It is shown that competitiveness varies greatly across countries, in perhaps surprising ways, and that it is not driven by financial system concentration. Rather, systems with greater foreign entry and fewer entry and activity restrictions tend to be more competitive, confirming that contestability—the lack of barriers to entry and exit—determines effective competition. The author then analyzes how competition policy in the financial sector has generally been conducted and how changes in competition in the financial services industries should affect competition policy going forward. In part based on comparison with other industries, the author provides some suggestions on how competition policy in the financial sector could be better approached as well as what institutional arrangements best fit a modern view of competition policy in the sector. The specific competition challenges for developing countries is also highlighted. The author concludes that practices today fall far short of the need for better competition policy in the financial sector.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper provides a brief analysis of three major questions raised in the context of the recent global financial crisis. First, how similar is the crisis to previous episodes? We argue that the crisis featured some close similarities to earlier ones, including the presence of credit and asset price booms fueled by rapid debt accumulation. Second, how different is it from earlier episodes? We show that, as much as it displayed some similarities with previous cases, it also featured some significant differences, such as the explosion of opaque and complex financial instruments in a context of highly integrated global financial markets. Third, how costly are recessions that followed these types of crises? Although the latest episode took a very heavy toll on the real economy, we argue that this was not a surprising outcome. In particular, historical comparisons indicate that recessions associated with periods of deep financial disruptions result in much larger declines in real economic activity. We discuss the implications of these findings for economic and financial sector policies and future research.
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The objective of this paper is to provide a macroeconomic assessment of the impact of global financial integration over the economies that are undergoing financial integration. Design/methodology/approach – The paper focuses on several issues. It begins with examining the evidence whether financial globalization elevates growth performance of the integrating economy and supports it macroeconomic stability. It takes a nuanced view and divides the impact of financial integration into direct and indirect benefits. Second, it scrutinizes whether there are some threshold conditions, that is, in their presence and with their support, financial globalization underpins growth and stability of the capital importing economy and in their absence it cannot. Third, it delves into the oft-cited allegation of financial globalization being a source of macroeconomic volatility and eventually financial crises. Fourth, as the evidence that emerged regarding ability of financial globalization to underpin growth was unambiguous. Policy mandarins' options are examined. Findings – The paper finds that from a theoretical perspective, it is easy to state that integration of financial markets an potentially faster growth. Whether it happens in reality is a different matter. Originality/value – The paper explores a new theme. While there are many relevant themes in financial globalization, the author has not seen any article on this theme and this paper may well be the first.
    Journal of Financial Economic Policy 11/2010; 2(December):307-325.

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