Finance and Development: Institutional and Policy Alternatives to Financial Liberalization Theory
Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 377
26 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2003
Date Written: April 2003
There are many recent worldwide examples of severe financial crises that are linked to periods of financial liberalization. Given the ubiquity of these crises, there is the legitimate question of why governments still pursue financial liberalization policies. Answers to this question range from the recent institutionalization of norms of "acceptable" financial policies and perceived potential gains of attracting private capital inflows to the implied gains arising from the economic logic embedded in the theory underlying financial liberalization. This paper will focus on the latter arguing that financial transformation along the lines proposed by McKinnon-Shaw has engendered widespread banking crises precisely because of the weak foundations of the theory. The financial liberalization theory is critically evaluated on both theoretical and empirical grounds. An alternative theoretical approach is presented that focuses on ways to effect financial and banking transformation that is more consistent with economic development that draws on an institutional-centric perspective.
Keywords: financial liberalization, banking crises, institutional-centric perspectives
JEL Classification: O16, O23
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