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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the financial systems in Asia. The heavy role of the state and of informal markets situates most Asian financial systems outside the liberal market economies and coordinated market economies emphasized in the varieties of capitalism literature. Asian financial systems fit into the business systems literature, with its focus on institutions grounded in cultural heritage, but today’s systems were also shaped by the distribution of wealth, skills, and political power when modernization began. This article’s account of the evolution of Asian financial systems finds interesting parallels and contrasts amongst the systems of Japan, China, and India, between those of South Korea and Taiwan, and within ASEAN. Across developing Asia, larger economies allow their citizens less economic freedom, so they face more severe challenges in overcoming entrenched elites to build an institutional framework that would allow the efficient allocation of capital.

Keywords: financial systems, Asia, business systems, varieties of capitalism, institutions, wealth, skills, political power

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