I have a new article forthcoming in Development and Change, on the political economy of financialization, coauthored with Arjun Jayadev and Enno Schroeder. Abstract:
We discuss the political economy of financialization in three settings: The US, the euro area, and India. The quantitative growth and increased social prominence of financial institutions and markets, we suggest, can be usefully seen in terms of the constraints or “discipline” they impose on other private and public decision makers. The role of finance in allocating real resources may be less important than its role in supporting the claims and authority of wealth-owners vis-a-vis other social actors. In the US, this is most visible in the pressure nonfinancial corporations face to increase payouts to shareholders. In Europe, the financial constraints on national governments are more salient. Tightening these constraints is openly acknowledged as the major benefit of financial integration. On the other hand, the constraints financialization imposes on policy may also limit the extent to which finance can in fact be liberalized. This countervailing pressure is visible in the great expansion of central bank’s balance sheets and management of financial markets over the past decade. It is even more clearly visible in India, where the conflict between financialization and concrete policy goals has sharply limited the extent of liberalization, despite consistent rhetorical support.
Full article here.