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Financial development, ICT diffusion and economic growth: Lessons from MENA region

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  • Sassi, Seifallah
  • Goaied, Mohamed

Abstract

This paper aims to test jointly two economic puzzles: the effect of financial development and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on economic growth. Theories predict a positive effect of financial development and ICT on growth but empirical studies on these relationships produced mixed results. Further, we investigate the interaction between financial development and ICT Diffusion to test whether the impact of financial development on growth is strengthened by better ICT infrastructure. In this paper we assess empirically these relationships in some MENA countries. The empirical study is based on estimation of a dynamic panel model with system GMM estimators. There are three main findings. First, our empirical results join empirical literature that find a negative direct effect of financial development on economic growth. This ambiguous relationship may be linked to many phenomenons but there are not yet clear explanations of this puzzle. Second, the estimates reveal a positive and significant direct effect of ICT proxies on economic growth. This implies that MENA countries need to reinforce their ICT policies and improve using of new Information and Communication Technology. Finally, the interaction between ICT penetration and financial development is found positive and significant in the growth regression. This implies that economies in Mena region can benefit from financial development only once a threshold of ICT development is reached.

Suggested Citation

  • Sassi, Seifallah & Goaied, Mohamed, 2013. "Financial development, ICT diffusion and economic growth: Lessons from MENA region," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 252-261.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:37:y:2013:i:4:p:252-261
    DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2012.12.004
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