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The Finance–Growth Thesis: A Sceptical Assessment-super- †

Listed author(s):
  • Thomas Barnebeck Andersen
  • Sam Jones
  • Finn Tarp

Financial liberalisation is widely seen as key to promoting financial development and unlocking growth in developing countries. While this thesis has been backed by an extensive literature, we show that it rests on weak theoretical and empirical foundations. Data for Sub-Saharan Africa reinforce this sceptical assessment. The region has embraced the financial reform paradigm, but few robust positive results have followed. On the contrary, exploratory data analysis suggests that, to the extent that financial reform has made any contribution to developmental outcomes, domestic financial development is unlikely to have been the mediating channel. We conclude that the finance–growth thesis stands challenged and outline five lessons which future research should heed. Copyright 2012 , Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jae/ejr040
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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): suppl_1 (January)
Pages: -88

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:21:y:2012:i:suppl_1:p:-i88
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  1. Frederic S Mishkin, 2009. "Why We Shouldn't Turn Our Backs on Financial Globalization," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(1), pages 139-170, April.
  2. Fry, Maxwell J, 1997. "In Favour of Financial Liberalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 754-770, May.
  3. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(2), pages 143-197, June.
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  7. Michael Clemens & Samuel Bazzi, 2009. "Blunt Instruments: On Establishing the Causes of Economic Growth," Working Papers 171, Center for Global Development.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Ioannis Tokatlidis, 2003. "Financial Liberalisation: The African Experience," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(Supplemen), pages 53-88, September.
  9. Arturo Galindo & Fabio Schiantarelli & Andrew Weiss, 2002. "Does Financial Liberalization Improve the Allocation of Investment?: Micro Evidence from Developing Countries," Research Department Publications 4295, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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  11. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & La Porta, Rafael & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Scholarly Articles 2962610, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 1999. "Financial intermediation and growth : Causality and causes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2059, The World Bank.
  13. Panicos O. Demetriades & Kul B. Luintel, 1997. "The Direct Costs Of Financial Repression: Evidence From India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 311-320, May.
  14. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1992. "Technological choice, financial markets and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 763-781, May.
  15. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
  17. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  18. Roger P. Kronenberg & Alessandro Giustiniani, 2005. "Financial Sector Conditionality; Is Tougher Better?," IMF Working Papers 05/230, .
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  27. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
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