NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Government, Financial Markets, and Economic Development

Joseph E. Stiglitz

NBER Working Paper No. 3669
Issued in April 1991
NBER Program(s):   ITI   ME   IFM

Ideological debates on the role of government in development have focused on two contrasting prescriptions: one calling for large scale government interventions to solve problems of massive market failures, the other for the unfettering of markets, with the dynamic forces of capitalism naturally leading to growth and prosperity. This paper is part of an exploration of a middle road, focusing in particular on the role of government in financial markets. After explaining the importance of, and the limitations on, capital markets, particularly in allocating scarce investment resources, the results are used as a basis of a critique of the two 'extreme' approaches. Recognizing the limitations of government intervention as well as of free markets, the 'new view' of capital markets provides new insights into s variety of policy issues, which are addressed in the final section of the paper.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3669

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