Regional financialisation and financial systems convergence: Evidence from Italy

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Fontana, G 
Phelps, P 

jats:p The term ‘financialisation’ has now entered the lexicon of academics and policy makers, though there is still no agreement on its meaning and significance. One of the earlier definitions was in relation to the growing weight of financial motives, financial actors and markets in the operation of modern economies, both at the national and international level, from the early 1980s until today. Building on this definition, this paper sheds further light on the implications of spatial financialisation, which has been associated with the over and under-extension of credit across and within countries and evolving financial instability. The paper’s primary contribution is to extend in a robust manner a powerful panel data convergence testing methodology to analyse the spatial scale and temporal evolution of Italian regional lending conditions. The paper concludes that financial divergence has broadly increased in Italian regions. Furthermore, we are able to link regional financialisation to the growing north–south divide in a significant and meaningful way. As a result, the ability of southern regions in Italy to absorb adverse macroeconomic and financial shocks has been weakened. Relevant regional financial policies have thereby become very important. </jats:p>

Italy, regional, financialisation, financial systems convergence
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Environment and Planning A
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SAGE Publications