Towards a Financialised Capitalism?: Evidences from Spain in the Context of Comparative Political Economy

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Nazaret ABALDE, Department of Sociology. University of A Coruña, Spain
Matilde MASSO, Universidade da Coruña, Spain, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
The concept of financialisation is being widely used to describe certain structural changes in advanced capitalist economies. This paper proposes a conceptualisation of financialisation combining concepts of comparative political economy and economic sociology. Scholars on the fields of comparative political economy consider financialization as a new regime of accumulation that emerges in response to declining productivity in the late 1960s. While in the US and the UK, financialisation has reached the stage of a finance-led capitalism (Boyer, 2000), coordinated market economies in Europe and Asia follow a different trajectory (Kalinowski, 2013; Yamamura & Streeck, 2003). This project aims to analyse the varieties of financialisation outside Anglo-American capitalism, giving special attention to the European southern area, and the varieties of financialisation in Europe.

Studies on financialization have analysed the relationship between the fall of profitability in the productive system and the search for new business oportunities of non- financial firms in financial markets. However, these approaches don’t offer a successful system of indicators in order to compare different countries with different variants of capitalism. This paper offers a an analytical model based o three dimensions:

The first called “financial development”, refers to the development of financial markets and intermediaries, the financial economic structure, and the financial integration.

The second dimension called “Political economy” refers to governments’ economic decisions on stable exchange rates, sovereign macroeconomic policies and open capital accounts (Kalinowski, 2013; Obstefeld et al, 2005)

The third dimension called “actors” has to do with the structural characteristics of non financial firms.

These dimensions are analysed for the Spanish case. Provisional results are showing a convergent trend consistent with all capitalist economies, in which financial capital gains increase not only when the net profits of companies rise, but also when they collapse in a context of severe economic crisis and high unemployment.