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Schmidt, R. Diversity in finance: An overview. Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, 87(4), 9-23. https://doi.org/10.3790/vjh.87.4.9
Schmidt, Reinhard H.. "Diversity in finance: An overview" Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung 87.4, , 9-23. https://doi.org/10.3790/vjh.87.4.9
Schmidt, Reinhard H.: Diversity in finance: An overview, in: Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 87, iss. 4, 9-23, [online] https://doi.org/10.3790/vjh.87.4.9

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Diversity in finance: An overview

Schmidt, Reinhard H.

Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Vol. 87 (2018), Iss. 4 : pp. 9–23

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Reinhard H. Schmidt, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.

  • Reinhard H. Schmidt has been a senior professor in the Finance Department of the Goethe University in Frankfurt since his retirement in 2013. His research and teaching activities in recent years have focused on the comparison of financial systems and finances in developing countries, countries in transition, and emerging economies. He publishes work regularly on both topics in national and international journals. In the field of development aid, he has worked as a consultant and an expert. Mr. Schmidt is a member of the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (ESFRC).
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Abstract

Zusammenfassung: Der Beitrag behandelt die Unterschiedlichkeit – oder Diversität – von Bank- und Finanzsystemen in Deutschland, der Europäischen Union und weltweit und deren Veränderungen im Zeitablauf. Damit wird zugleich die Frage angesprochen, ob sich die Bank- und Finanzsysteme im Zeitablauf aneinander angleichen. Allgemein wird vermutet, dass unter dem Einfluss der Globalisierung und der zunehmend international werdenden Regulierung Unterschiede immer mehr verschwinden und dass dies wirtschaftspolitisch wünschenswert ist. Der empirische Befund ist allerdings, dass das Ausmaß der Diversität in den letzten Jahren erstaunlich wenig abgenommen hat. Dies wirft die zwei Fragen auf, denen der zweite Teil des Beitrags gewidmet ist: Wie ist es zu erklären, dass sich eine höhere Diversität erhalten hat, als weithin vermutet wird, und wie ist Diversität im Finanzsektor zu bewerten? Dazu argumentiert der Verfasser, dass es angesichts der Tatsache, dass man nicht weiß und nicht wissen kann, welche Strukturen im Finanzsektor optimal sind, Diversität ökonomisch als vorteilhaft und damit als erhaltenswert einzustufen ist.

Summary: This paper aspires to provide an overview of the issue of diversity of banking and financial systems and its development over time from a positive and a normative perspective. In other word: how different are banks within a given country and how much do banking systems and entire financial systems differ between countries and regions, and do in-country diversity and between-country diversity change over time, as one would be inclined to expect as a consequence of globalization and increasingly global standards of regulation? The general answer to these questions is that there is still today a surprisingly high level of diversity in finance. This raises the two questions addressed in the second part of the paper: How can the persistence of diversity be explained, and how can it be assessed? In contrast to prevailing views, the author argues that persistent diversity should be regarded as valuable in a context in which there is no clear answer to the question of which structures of banking and financial systems are optimal from an economic perspective.