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Finance for Growth: Does a Balanced Financial Structure Matter?

  • Alicia Garcia-Herrero
  • Lucia Cuadro-Saez

In this paper we explore empirically a long-standing question in the literature on finance for growth, namely whether the financial structure in terms of the size of the banking system relative to the capital markets matters for economic growth. We build upon the existing literature by constructing a new measure of the balancedness of the financial structure which is broader, as it includes the domestic bond market as well as external sources of financing. It is also bounded and more linear than existing ones. We find that a more balanced financial structure in terms of the size of banks relative to the capital markets is associated with higher economic growth. Such finding points to banks and capital markets being more of a complement than a substitute. This is in line with Greenspan s idea of one market serving as spare wheel of the other.

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Paper provided by BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department in its series Working Papers with number 0503.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bbv:wpaper:0503
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  1. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1996. "Stock markets, banks, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1690, The World Bank.
  2. Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank-Based or Market-Based Financial Systems: Which is Better?," NBER Working Papers 9138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
  4. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  5. Boot, Arnoud W A & Greenbaum, Stuart I & Thakor, Anjan V, 1993. "Reputation and Discretion in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1165-83, December.
  6. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
  7. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Credit Markets and the Control of Capital," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(2), pages 133-52, May.
  8. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Norman Loayza, 1999. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 56, Central Bank of Chile.
  9. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2001. "Legal Theories of Financial Development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 483-501.
  10. O. Emre Ergungor, 2003. "Financial system structure and economic development: structure matters," Working Paper 0305, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Levine, Ross, 1999. "Bank-based and market-based financial systems - cross-country comparisons," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2143, The World Bank.
  12. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Schleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2001. "Investor Protection and Corporate Governance," Working Paper Series rwp01-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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