A distinction is usually made between market-based and bank- based capitalisms due to the relative importance of different sources for firm financing. In recent times pension reforms oriented to introducing funded schemes based on pension funds or on insurances have been implemented in many countries. One of the reasons for this change is to develop financial markets, expanding the role of the stock exchange. A number of questions arise concerning the impact of such reforms. Have thesereforms helped to change the structure of financing patterns? Are varieties of capitalism converging because of such reforms? Have financial markets developed according to the public company model? How do such institutional investors invest their funds? Is the ensuing financialisation conducive to best welfare systems? We will try to provide some answers to these questions.
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