During the Golden Age of the western economies (1950s-1960s) became clear that each country had to follow its own way to industrialisation. For the full understanding of these processes, there was a growing interest for the use of an historical perspective. In this line of research, the book that Alexander Gerschenkron, professor at Harvard University, published in 1962 entitled Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective had much impact. In this seminal book, which proposed the concept of the “conditional convergence”, Gerschenkron proposed that financial institutions (not financial markets), by acting as “substitutive factor”, play a fundamental role in industrialization, as the German case had proved.
Gerschenkron’s thesis was challenged by Raymond Goldsmith, the author of Financial Structure and Development (1969), who proposed not to leave financial markets out of the analysis, because they were also part of the financial system and could contribute to economic development, understood as something broader than industrialization. Goldsmith’s approach was also influential, although Gerschenkron’s book fit better with the spirit of Golden Age governments, which were willing to put the banks (both public and private) at the service of the industrial policies (see Tortella & García-Ruiz 2013, Chapter 8, for the emblematic Spanish case).
From the Gerschenkron-Goldsmith debate, a line of research was developed by focusing on identifying the financial systems of countries as either bank-oriented or market-oriented (Bordo & Sylla 1995; Allen & Gale 2000), stressing the differences between them. Later on, Caroline Fohlin (2007, 2012, 2016) believed that this was a false polemic and gave historical arguments for a sceptical view of the issue. Nevertheless, she presents a new taxonomy, a “rough classification”, of the different financial systems based on the prevalence of different type of banks.
At the time, the economist Ross Levine and his associates (e.g. Levine & Zervos 1998) wanted to approach the problem from a quantitative perspective, trying to answer a very simple question: which system contributes most to economic development? Levine managed to involve the World Bank in his research and promoted the creation of the Global Financial Development Database (Beck, Demirgüç-Kunt & Levine 2000), whose recent exploitation is allowing a better exploration in the long run of the complexity of the relationships proposed in the 1960s by Gerschenkron and Goldsmith.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the deregulation of financial systems led to an approximation between institutions and financial markets that paved the way to the belief that the old divide had become obsolete (Rajan & Zingales 2003). However, the latest analyses detect the persistence of significant differences between national financial systems (Gambacorta, Yang & Tsatsaronis 2014).
It seems clear that much can be learned about the bank-industry and stock market-industry relationships if they are addressed from a Business History perspective, which until now has been almost completely neglected. For this reason it is proposed the launching of a special issue of Business History, based on a Call for Papers, aiming to obtain fresh articles that address the classical issues on the subject with a new Business History approach:
- Evidence of the advantages of the bank-industry relationship over the stock market-industry relationship or vice versa;
- The banking-industry relationship in the networks of large national banks and the networks of small local banks (Vasta et al. 2017);
- Persistence of the differences between financial systems based on Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) and/or Law & Finance (common law versus civil law countries) approaches;
- Access to finance by business size: large, medium and small companies facing markets and financial institutions;
- The role of managers in fostering the stock market performance of the firms;
- The best way to innovate: is the stock market the most appropriate way to finance and promote the innovative capabilities of the firm?;
- The problem of “financialisation”: too much money in the economy breaks the direct relationship between financing and economic development as proposed (Law & Sing, 2014)?
This special issue welcomes contributions on the history of the bank-industry and stock market-industry relationships, especially if they use interdisciplinary and new methodologies and cross-country comparisons.
Articles should be based on original research and should not be under consideration by other journal. All articles should be submitted by 31 March 2018 via ScholarOne, using the drop down to select submission to the Special Issue on Bank-Industry versus Stock Market-Industry Relationships: A Business History Approach. All the articles will be peer reviewed and, therefore, some may be rejected. Authors should ensure that their manuscripts comply with the Business History formatting standards, which can be found on the 'Instructions for Authors' page. Authors who are not English native speakers are responsible for having a native English-speaking copyeditor check and correct their texts before final acceptance.
The articles initially selected for the Special Issue will be presented in a workshop that will take place in Madrid in June 2018, sponsored by available public funds. The final version of the papers should be the result of this workshop.
Allen, F. & Gale, D. (2000), Comparing Financial Systems, Cambridge (Mass.), MIT Press.
Beck, T., Demirgüç-Kunt, A. & Levine, R. (2000), “A New Database on Financial Development and Structure,” World Bank Economic Review, 14, 597-605.
Bordo, M. & Sylla, R. (eds) (1995), Anglo-American Financial Systems: Institutions and Markets in the Twentieth Century, New York, Irwin.
Fohlin, C. (2007), Finance Capitalism and Germany’s Rise to Industrial Power, Cambridge & New York, Cambridge University Press.
Fohlin, C. (2012), Mobilizing Money: How the World’s Richest Nations Financed Industrial Growth, Cambridge & New York, Cambridge University Press.
Fohlin, C. (2016), “Financial Systems and Economic Development in Historical Perspective,” in C. Diebolt & M. Haupert (eds), The Handbook of Cliometrics, Berlin, Springer Verlag, 393-430.
Gambacorta, L., Yang, J. & Tsatsaronis, K. (2014), “Financial Structure and Growth,” BIS Quarterly Review, March, 21-35.
Gerschenkron, A. (1962), Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays, Cambridge (Mass.), The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Goldsmith, R.W. (1969), Financial Structure and Development, New Haven, Yale University.
Law, S.H. & Singh, N. (2014), “Does Too Much Finance Harm Economic Growth?,” Journal of Banking and Finance, 41, 36-44.
Levine, R. & Zervos, S. (1998), “Stock Markets, Banks and Economic Growth,” American Economic Review, 88, 537-558.
Rajan, R. & Zingales, L. (2003), Banks and Markets: The Changing Character of European Finance, Cambridge (Mass.), NBER Working Paper 9595.
Tortella, G. & García-Ruiz, J.L. (2013), Spanish Money and Banking. A History, Basingstoke & New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
Vasta, M., Drago, C., Ricciuti, R. & Rinaldi, A. (2017), “Reassessing the Bank-Industry Relationship in Italy, 1913-1936: A Counterfactual Analysis,” Cliometrica, 11, 183-216.