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Finance - Economic Lifeblood or Toxin?

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  • Marco Pagano

    (University of Naples "Federico II", CSEF and EIF)

Abstract

In the past two decades, academic research has produced massive evidence of the beneficial role of financial development for growth and the allocation of investment. Our current vision, however, is dominated by instances of dysfunctional behavior of financial markets associated with acute and widespread crises. This raises the issue of when and why finance ceases to be the “lifeblood” and turns into a “toxin” for real economic activity. This paper is a first step towards an answer. Its thesis is that the metamorphosis occurs when finance becomes “too large” relative to the underlying economy. At this point finance stops contributing to economic growth and comes to threaten the solvency of banks and systemic stability. A related question is why regulation is not designed so as to prevent the financial industry from growing above this threshold. I argue that the answer lies largely in the symbiosis between politicians and the finance industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Pagano, 2013. "Finance - Economic Lifeblood or Toxin?," EIEF Working Papers Series 1309, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Apr 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1309
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    Cited by:

    1. Cortes, Kristle Romero, 2014. "Rebuilding after Disaster Strikes: How Local Lenders Aid in the Recovery," Working Paper 1428, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    2. Maimbo, Samuel Munzele & Melecky, Martin, 2014. "Financial sector policy in practice : benchmarking financial sector strategies around the world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6746, The World Bank.
    3. Emmanuel Carré & Guillaume L’Œillet, 2017. "Une revue de la littérature récente sur le nexus finance-croissance après la crise : apports, limites et pistes de recherche," Revue d'économie financière, Association d'économie financière, vol. 0(3), pages 271-290.
    4. Bahadir, Berrak & Valev, Neven, 2017. "Catching up or drifting apart: Convergence of household and business credit in Europe," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 101-114.
    5. Jean Arcand & Enrico Berkes & Ugo Panizza, 2015. "Too much finance?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 105-148, June.
    6. Enrico Berkes & Ugo Panizza & Jean Louis Arcand, 2015. "Too Much Finance or Statistical Illusion: A Comment," IHEID Working Papers 12-2015, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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