Journal Article 4

Klinge, T. J.Fernandez, R., & Aalbers, M. B. (2021). Whither corporate financialization? A literature review. Geography Compass, e12588. DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12588


In this paper, we review the burgeoning literature on the study of corporate financialization, distinguishing three strands of empirical, quantitative studies: (1) national-level and macro-comparative analysis, (2) sector- and firm-level analysis, and (3) econometric studies. We argue that corporations should be studied in their spatial organization. The spatial organization of the firm can be used to obscure corporate activity. Geography is not simply one of the many features of corporate structure but is key to it and therefore fundamental to shaping corporate financialization, although this is insufficiently expressed in accounting principles that provide consolidated accounts. Finally, we suggest four avenues for future studies: (1) to expand the geographical and temporal scope of research; (2) to pay close attention to how indicators are constructed; (3) to deconstruct large categories of analysis, such as ‘financial assets’; (4) to systematically include liabilities in the analysis of non-financial corporations, especially in the face of the abundance of credit.

Keywords: corporate financialization; corporate governance; critical accounting; financial geography; non-financial corporations (NFCs); shareholder value; spatial organization of the firm

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