Proposal preview

Financial centers, agents and transactions on the long run. Towards a multidimensional approach and tools of analysis

This panel aims at investigating the topological, organizational and sociological dimensions of the banking and stock-exchange industry. It promotes a multidimensional approach to the study of financial centers and the use of innovative digital tools for data collection and analysis, in order to empirically investigate the centers’ organization, the transactions among financial intermediaries and their networks.
The stock exchange is the main site of encounter and interaction between private individuals, businessmen, legal intermediaries, and interlopers. Developments in telecommunication and information technology since the 1980s led some to believe in the end of geography for trading activities. But actually, technological progress has not changed their location as much as one might expect with. On the contrary, these activities remain concentrated in a handful of “global cities” (Sassen 2001) that compete intensely with one another. These cities concentrate most of financial institutions and attract specialized workforces. Physical concentration favors exchanges of information. The manner of exchanging information conditions its short-term value and profitable usages. For this reason, historical spatial analyses of financial centers add new insights on the organization of financial transactions.
The second dimension of the stock exchange its indeed its organization arrangement and structure. Prices formation enabling transactions is the product of two confrontations. First, the confrontation between the buyers and sellers, each looking to strike a bargain. Second, a confrontation over the terms of exchange. Each individual or institutional trader wants its interest to prevail over of its counterparty’s one. If organizations shaping the unfolding of this trade vary according to countries and time period, they all crystallize in formal and informal rules and the power relations among the unequal parties participate in the exchanges. The distribution of profits generated by the operations of the stock exchange and the intermediation constitutes the stake of these power struggles (Pirrong 2000).
This leads to the third dimension of the financial centers. The stock exchange is eventually a social space traversed by the double struggle over exchange and the terms of exchange. The confrontation between discordant interests depends greatly on their intermediation. To maintain their positions, intermediaries invest in individual and collective strategies (Preda 2009) inscribed within the relations of power. Indeed, a financial center includes institutions and agents, both public and private, united in rivalry against other centers (Lagneau-Ymonet & Riva 2012), but at the same time competitors in their professional practices (Hautcoeur & Riva 2012). In order to understand and analysis these practices, therefore, financial actors must be investigated in the broader perspective of their socio-professional environment, as well as in the social networks they mobilize through and beyond the financial operations (Padgett and Powell, 2012; Verley 2010).
Research questions
– What kinds of organizations and practices are employed by financial operators to pursue transactions?
– How social networks shape the action of financial intermediaries?
– What are the correspondences between the topological and social spaces of a financial center?
The organizers are interested in gathering contributions about the multiple dimensions of financial centers. Original empirical analysis that apply innovative quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and treatment are particularly welcome. Among them: OCR of archival material, networks visualization and measure, geo-historical analysis based on SIG tools.
Proposals are accepted until January 28th 2018

The following scholars have already committed to participate to the panel:
• Veronica Aoki Santarosa (University of Michigan): “Financial Intermediation Before Modern Deposit Banks: Evidence from a Brokerage Law Reform in Eighteenth-Century Marseille”
• Maria Stella Chiaruttini (European University Institute):
“’Bankers of Italy, Italy has woken’: Banking elites and the new map of Italian financial centres in the age of the Risorgimento (1814-1874).”
• Jérémy Ducros (University of Genève & Paris School of Economics):
“Information technology and the French stock exchanges, 19th and early 20th centuries”.
• Elisa Grandi and Raphael Hekimian (Paris School of Economics):
“Banks and networks at the Belle Époque, Interlocking directorates and banking performance in France 1882-1914”.
• Paul Lagneau-Ymonet (Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, IRISSO):
“How to identify, locate and map financial intermediation in late nineteenth-century Paris? Preliminary results from the BELLEPOQUE project”.
• Paul Lagneau-Ymonet (Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, IRISSO)
• Elisa Grandi (Paris School of Economics)

• Hautcoeur, P.-C. & Riva, A. 2012. “The Paris financial market in the nineteenth century: complementarities and competition in microstructures”. Economic History Review. 65 (4): 1326-1353.
• Lagneau-Ymonet, P. & Riva A. 2012. Histoire de la bourse Paris: La Découverte.
• Padgett, J. & Powell, W. 2012. The Emergence of Organizations and Markets. Princeton: Princeton University
• Pirrong, C. 2000. “A Theory of Financial Exchange Organization.” Journal of Law and Economics. 43 (2): 437-471.
• Preda, A. 2009. Framing finance: The boundaries of markets and modern capitalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
• Sassen, S. 2001. The Global City. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
• Verley, P. 2010. “Organizations of National Financial Markets and Convergence of Practices: Institutions and Networks of Parisian Brokers in Nineteenth-Century Parisian Financial Markets.” In Baubeau P. & A. Ogren (eds.), Convergence and Divergence of National Financial Systems. Evidence from the Gold Standards, 1871-1971. London: Pickering & Chatto.


  • Elisa Grandi, Paris School of Economics,, Italy
  • Paul Lagneau-Ymonet, Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, IRISSO,, France

Session members

  • Jérémy Ducros, University of Geneva & Paris School of Economics,
  • Veronica Aoki Santarosa, University of Michigan,
  • Maria Stella Chiaruttini, European University Institute,
  • Paul Lagneau-Ymonet, Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, IRISSO,
  • Elisa Grandi, Paris School of Economics,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Paul Lagneau-Ymonet, Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, IRISSO,
  • Elisa Grandi, Paris School of Economics,

This panel has Call for Papers open.
If you are interested in participating, please contact the panel organizer(s) to submit a proposal.

  • Elisa Grandi, Paris School of Economics,, Italy
  • Paul Lagneau-Ymonet, Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, IRISSO,, France