IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Is more finance better? Disentangling intermediation and size effects of financial systems

Listed author(s):
  • Beck, Thorsten
  • Degryse, Hans
  • Kneer, Christiane

Financial systems all over the world have grown dramatically over recent decades. But is more finance necessarily better? And what concept of financial system – a focus on its size, including both intermediation and other auxiliary “non-intermediation” activities, or a focus on traditional intermediation activity – is relevant for its impact on real sector outcomes? This paper assesses the relationship between the size of the financial system and intermediation, on the one hand, and GDP per capita growth and growth volatility, on the other hand. Based on a sample of 77 countries for the period 1980–2007, we find that intermediation activities increase growth and reduce volatility in the long run. An expansion of the financial sectors along other dimensions has no long-run effect on real sector outcomes. Over shorter time horizons a large financial sector stimulates growth at the cost of higher volatility in high-income countries. Intermediation activities stabilize the economy in the medium run especially in low-income countries. As this is an initial exploration of the link between financial system indicators and growth and volatility, we focus on OLS regressions, leaving issues of endogeneity and omitted variable biases for future research.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1572308913000235
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Stability.

Volume (Year): 10 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 50-64

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:10:y:2014:i:c:p:50-64
DOI: 10.1016/j.jfs.2013.03.005
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jfstabil

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Cahuc, P. & Challe, E., 2010. "Produce or speculate? Asset bubbles, occupational choice and efficiency," Working papers 298, Banque de France.
  2. Raddatz, Claudio, 2003. "Liquidity needs and vulnerability to financial udnerdevelopment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3161, The World Bank.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Angeletos, George-Marios & Banerjee, Abhijit & Manova, Kalina, 2010. "Volatility and growth: Credit constraints and the composition of investment," Scholarly Articles 12490636, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2007. "Is there a diversification discount in financial conglomerates?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 331-367, August.
  5. Beck, Thorsten & Buyukkarabacak, Berrak & Rioja, Felix & Valev, Neven, 2008. "Who gets the credit ? and does it matter ? household vs. firm lending across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4661, The World Bank.
  6. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine, 2002. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Growth: Panel Evidence," NBER Working Papers 9082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter L. Rousseau & Paul Wachtel, 2009. "What is Happening to the Impact of Financial Deepening on Economic Growth?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0915, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Philippe Aghion & Abhijit Banerjee & Thomas Piketty, 1999. "Dualism and Macroeconomic Volatility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1359-1397.
  9. Peter L. Rousseau & Paul Wachtel, 2005. "Economic Growth and Financial Depth: Is the Relationship Extinct Already?," Working Papers 05-15, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1994. "Was Prometheus unbound by chance? Risk, diversification and growth," Economics Working Papers 98, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Aizenman, Joshua & Powell, Andrew, 2003. "Volatility and financial intermediation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 657-679, October.
  12. Cevdet Denizer & Murat Iyigun & Ann Owen, 2000. "Finance and Macroeconomic Volatility," Macroeconomics 0004015, EconWPA.
  13. King, Robert G.*Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  14. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, "undated". "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  15. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
  16. John Moore & Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, "undated". "Credit Cycles," Discussion Papers 1995-5, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  17. Stiroh, Kevin J. & Rumble, Adrienne, 2006. "The dark side of diversification: The case of US financial holding companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2131-2161, August.
  18. Stiroh, Kevin J, 2004. "Diversification in Banking: Is Noninterest Income the Answer?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 853-882, October.
  19. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
  20. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1999. "Diversity of Opinion and Financing of New Technologies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 8(1-2), pages 68-89, January.
  21. Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:elg:eebook:17119 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 2000. "Financial intermediation and growth: Causality and causes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 31-77, August.
  24. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Robert C. Merton, 1995. "A Functional Perspective of Financial Intermediation," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 24(2), Summer.
  26. Rioja, Felix & Valev, Neven, 2004. "Does one size fit all?: a reexamination of the finance and growth relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 429-447, August.
  27. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2009. "Bank Activity and Funding Strategies: The Impact on Risk and Return," CEPR Discussion Papers 7170, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Stephen Cecchetti & Enisse Kharroubi, 2012. "Reassessing the impact of finance on growth," BIS Working Papers 381, Bank for International Settlements.
  29. Howitt, Peter & Mayer-Foulkes, David & Aghion, Philippe, 2005. "The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence," Scholarly Articles 4481509, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  30. Masten, Arjana Brezigar & Coricelli, Fabrizio & Masten, Igor, 2008. "Non-linear growth effects of financial development: Does financial integration matter?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 295-313, March.
  31. Beck,Thorsten*Lundberg, Mattias*Majnoni, Giovann, 2001. "Financial intermediary development and growth volatility : do intermediaries dampen or magnify shocks?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2707, The World Bank.
  32. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2001. "International and domestic collateral constraints in a model of emerging market crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 513-548, December.
  33. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  34. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2010. "Financial Institutions and Markets across Countries and over Time: The Updated Financial Development and Structure Database," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 77-92, January.
  35. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
  36. Imbs, Jean, 2007. "Growth and volatility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1848-1862, October.
  37. Demsetz, Rebecca S & Strahan, Philip E, 1997. "Diversification, Size, and Risk at Bank Holding Companies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 300-313, August.
  38. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2005. "Has financial development made the world riskier?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 313-369.
  39. Enrico G Berkes & Ugo Panizza & Jean-Louis Arcand, 2012. "Too Much Finance?," IMF Working Papers 12/161, International Monetary Fund.
  40. Thomas Philippon, 2007. "Financiers vs. Engineers: Should the Financial Sector be Taxed or Subsidized?," NBER Working Papers 13560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Baele, Lieven & De Jonghe, Olivier & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2007. "Does the stock market value bank diversification?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1999-2023, July.
  42. Shen, Chung-Hua & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2006. "Same Financial Development Yet Different Economic Growth: Why?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1907-1944, October.
  43. De Gregorio, Jose & Guidotti, Pablo E., 1995. "Financial development and economic growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 433-448, March.
  44. Graciela Laura Kaminsky & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2008. "Short-Run Pain, Long-Run Gain: Financial Liberalization and Stock Market Cycles," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(2), pages 253-292.
  45. Patrick Bolton & Tano Santos & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2011. "Cream Skimming in Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 16804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:10:y:2014:i:c:p:50-64. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.