Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Financial system development in central and Eastern Europe: time for equity culture?

Stone, Zita (2013) Financial system development in central and Eastern Europe: time for equity culture? Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86499) (KAR id:86499)


Equity culture is underdeveloped in Central and Eastern Europe. The corporate sector's dependence on debt as an external source of capital, scarce and illiquid capital markets and distrust in corporate sharing are the reasons for this. Yet, according to a number of surveys, firms are dissatisfied with the existing forms of debt driven external capital. The barriers of access to capital and the cost of capital are high resulting in unattractive and inflexible financing options. However, the availability of capital is a necessity for corporate existence

and economic growth. The question of the viability of equity financing development as an alternative to the traditional debt financing in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe puzzles many. National policymakers as well as domestic and foreign investors need this question answered so that time and effort is not wasted on pursuing unviable strategies and creating unrealistic investment plans. The development of an equity culture in the CEECs is the main focus of this study. We develop a theory-bridging conceptual framework through which we attempt to demonstrate what factors contribute to its formation. We maintain that fIrms seeking equity finance are the main drivers for equity culture development in a country. This demand is affected by the size of transaction costs these finns incur in the process of searching for, establishing and co-ordinating contractual relationships with equity providers. We establish that the size of transaction costs is detennined by a set of conditions stemming from internal (managerial) and external (macro-economic and institutional) environments impacting the firm. The conceptual framework is empirically tested using quantitative data on ten Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) (EU member countries since 2004 and 2007) for a continuous period of thirteen years (1996-2008). Firstly, a relatively new graphical display method - the Co-Plot method - is applied to cluster the gathered data. This method facilitates benchmarking against two representatives of the equity oriented financial system (UK and USA) and two representatives of the bank (debt) oriented financial system (Germany and Japan). The outcome of this analysis is the identification of three separate groups within our sample ofCEECs (Leaders, Potentials, Laggards) in terms of the potential for equity culture development they exhibit. Secondly, a regression analysis follows. It determines causal relationships between the demand-based dependent variables and independent variables represented by equity culture supportive conditions. Regressions are performed while controlling for different finn sizes (Large finns, SMEs, Micro firms and the total number of firms) to detennine the driving factors of equity

culture development for each firm size individually as differing effects are expected. Furthermore, we carry out the regression analysis while controlling for the groups of Leaders, Potentials, and Laggards on a case by case basis. Finally, a qualitative comparative analysis for three CEECs, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, (each being a representative for a group with different potential for equity culture development) is


Our findings suggest that CEECs belonging to the group of Leaders have the macroeconomic and institutional conditions necessary for the development of an equity culture in place and that it is the equity-oriented financial institutions and the managerial capabilities which require further attention so that equity culture can be fully developed. By contrast, countries from the Potentials group have the macroeconomic performance required for the development of an advanced equity-based fmancial system, however the conditions stemming from the institutional (including both quality as weil as adequacy of equityiii r I .1 oriented financial intermediaries) and the managerial environment need improving. The results for the group of Laggards indicate that in order for an equity culture to be able to develop, a complex set of macro-economic, institutional and managerial conditions requires attention. Furthermore, we establish that large firms do not necessarily require the

presence of adequate managerial conditions for them to become the drivers of equity culture development. In the case of SMEs we fmd that it i& primarily the presence of appropriate institutional rather than macro-economic and managerial conditions that have be satisfied in order for these finns to opt for equity finance. Finally. our results for micro firms imply that although the presence of adequate macro-economic and institutional conditions is important, however, it is not sufficient. It is the presence of appropriate managerial conditions which motivate micro firms to consider equity finance. Our study contributes to the existing literature in several ways. Firstly, it contributes to theory by providing a Dew conceptual perspective on the financial system development and finn financing options in transition economies typical for their limited experience with equity financing and an underdeveloped equity culture, such as the CEECs. Secondly, it provides contributions to practice by proposing managerial and policy recommendations, how to identify best investment targets, and how to support equity culture development should it be desired.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86499
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: financial system development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 13:54 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 22:59 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.