Infrastructure Finance and Industrial Takeoff in the United Kingdom
Alex William Trew
That financial matters did not constrain industrial takeoff in the UK is generally accepted in the historical literature; in contrast, contemporary empirical analyses have found evidence that financial development can be a causal determinant of economic growth. We look to reconcile these findings by concentrating on a particular aspect of industrialising UK where inefficiencies in finance could have had bite: The finance of physical infrastructures. We document the historical record and develop the importance of spatial disaggregation and spillovers in both technological and financial development. We develop a simple model that captures the nature of infrastructure finance within a theory of endogenous growth where financial costs are endogenous. We argue that the conception of the finance-growth nexus as a largely static, aggregative phenomenon misses out a good deal of complexity and we relate that complexity to a number of implications for regulation of both financial systems and the emergence of infrastructures.
Finance and growth, economic history, infrastructure, economic integration.
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