The Extent and Variegation of Financialisation in Europe: A Preliminary Analysis

This paper provides a preliminary analysis of the variegated extent of financialisation of European economies since circa 1980. For this purpose, the broad characterisation of financialisation offered by Fine (2012) is adopted. This characterisation identifies eight features of the financialisation process. We focus in particular on the size of the financial sector within a selection of European economies. Data show that the financialisation process is not reflected in the share of employment in the financial sector. This is likely to be the result of the labour-saving nature of technological and organisational innovations introduced in the financial sector in the last two decades. By contrast, the increasing weight of finance in the economy is reflected in the ratio of the value added of the financial sector to total value added and by the ratio of the value of financial assets to GDP. Overall, we find that most European countries have undergone a process of financialisation in the last three decades. However, this process has been variegated, leading us to coin the term ‘variegated financialisation’. The variegation of the financialisation process is likely to be explained by differences in economic and social structures between nations, regions and systems.
Andrew Brown
David A. Spencer and Marco Veronese Passarella
Attached file: 
Financialisation and Crises in Europe

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