OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

An Assessment of Financial Reform in OECD Countries

This paper reviews the experience with financial reform in OECD countries. A general overview of the course of deregulation is provided and the economic rationale for financial regulation is discussed. The question of whether financial liberalisation has led to improved welfare is then addressed. It is argued that the benefits of improved allocation of resources and increased efficiency have to be weighed against the possible effects of deregulation on financial stability. While there is no strong evidence of any trend increase in financial volatility in key markets, there have been a number of episodes of instability apparently linked to financial deregulation. However, the analysis of individual crises suggests that inappropriate macroeconomic policies, deficiencies in prudential policies, and microeconomic distortions affecting incentives in the financial sector, were important contributing factors to the financial problems that have been experienced ...


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