Working Package Larsson

Regulatory traditions and legislative homogenization (PI Mats Larsson)

During the mid 19th century, banking and financial activities were built on national interests and regulations that reflected local political structures, legal systems and business organisation, but this gradually changed during the ‘first internationalisation’ of the late 19th century.  Regulators were increasingly open to flows of information and ideas as to optimal frameworks and used disruptive events such as banking scandals and crises as a guide to reform.  They were also influenced by international transmission of stronger liberal ideological traditions.   This should have resulted in greater homogeneity among national regulatory regimes, but the persistence of different national systems suggests that recognizing the presence of some form of path dependence can bring insights to the process of regulatory evolution. This project will look at three turning points in regulatory reform to examine how the past was used to influence legislative reform in Europe: the 1890s, 1930s and 1970s. The analysis will concentrate foremost on the role of regime changes and regulation in the development of financial crises as well as the use of legislation to counteract crises. It will thus interact closely with Work Package 1’s focus on the USA in the interwar period.