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Stock markets, banks and economic growth

  • Ross Levine
  • Sara Zervos

Using data on 49 countries from 1976 to 1993, the authors investigate whether measures of stock market liquidity, size, volatility, and integration in world capital markets predict future rates of economic growth, capital accumulation, productivity improvements, and private savings. They find that stock market liquidity-as measured by stock trading relative to the size of the market and economy - is positivelyand significantly correlated with current and future rates of economic growth, capital accumulation, productivity growth, even after controlling for economic and political factors. Stock market size, volatility, and integration are not robustly linked with growth. Nor are financial indicators closely associated with private savings rates. Significantly, banking development -as measured by bank loans to private enterprises divided by GDP -when combined with stock market liquidity predicts future rates of growth, capital accumulation, and productivity growth when entered together in regressions. The authors determine that these results are consistent with views that (1)financial markets and institutions provide important services for long-run growth, and (2)stock markets and banks provide different financial services.

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Paper provided by Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University in its series CERF Discussion Paper Series with number 95-11.

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Handle: RePEc:bru:brucer:95-11
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Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK

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