Discussion Paper Details

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Title: The Need for Institutional Changes in the Global Financial System: An Analytical Framework

Author(s): Stijn Claessens and Geoffrey R D Underhill

Publication Date: March 2005

Keyword(s): international financial arrangements, international financial institutions, international governance, legitimacy and political economy

Programme Area(s): Financial Economics and Institutions and Economic Performance

Abstract: The international financial system has been the subject of much debate following the financial crises of the 1990s. While many reforms have been proposed for and implemented by mostly developing countries, few changes have been made to the international financial system itself. Fundamentally, the design, institutions, and governance of the international system remain very similar to those of two decades ago. The major changes in global financial markets, financial services industries and economies during this period, however, have rendered the international financial system and its governance of out date. In this paper, we analyse the causes and consequences of the failure to reform. We highlight the forces driving the need for changes in the governance of the international financial system, in particular the combination of the global integration processes and the increased role of the private sector. We then provide insights into the desirable institutional structure for international financial decision-making, also as it relates to the legitimacy of the international system in the eyes of the public worldwide. We also discuss the (political economy) factors inhibiting reform. We conclude with suggestions for future research.

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Bibliographic Reference

Claessens, S and Underhill, G. 2005. 'The Need for Institutional Changes in the Global Financial System: An Analytical Framework'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.