Financial system and technological catching-up: an empirical analysis
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This paper explores the role of the financial system in technological catching-up in the expectation that financing mechanisms affect the production and the exports of new or “new to the market” commodities. We have developed indices of related export variety (REV) and of unrelated export variety (UEV) by using the informational entropy function for a sample of 97 countries using NBER & UN trade data for the period 1992–2005. We used these indices sequentially as dependent variables with the bank credit ratio and stock market capitalization ratio as independent variables. In addition, we include the education system, natural resources and four principal component factors characterizing the cost of doing business, political system, quality of governance and the degree of openness of the countries as control variables in our regressions. Our pooled regression models show that the financial system is an important determinant of both types of export variety for all countries but that, for the most successful developers, the banking system and the stock market play different roles, with the former being relatively more appropriate for REV and the latter for UEV. Such specialization of different forms of the financial system seems to confirm that stock markets are likely to be relatively more appropriate to fund the exploratory type of innovations which are required to increase UEV.