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CEP discussion paper

Financial system architecture and the patterns of international trade


Countries differ on the extent to which their financial system relies on banks or on the financial market. We offer a model featuring a possible two-way relationship between countries’ financial system architecture and their comparative advantage. Countries specialising in bank dependent sectors favour the development of the banking sector. Simultaneously, countries with more efficient capital markets develop comparative advantage in sectors with strong dependence on market finance. To empirically investigate our model’s predictions, we construct a measure of sector bank dependence and establish a strong relationship between countries’ comparative advantage and their financial system architecture.


Emmanuel Amissah, Spiros Bougheas, Fabrice Defever and Rod Falvey

20 September 2016     Paper Number CEPDP1448

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.