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Does finance cause growth? Evidence from the origins of banking in Russia

  • Berkowitz, Daniel

    ()

    (BOFIT)

  • Hoekstra, Mark

    (BOFIT)

  • Schoors, Koen

    (BOFIT)

This paper examines the effect of banking on economic growth in modern Russia. To overcome simultaneity and selection, we exploit regional banking variation induced by the creation of “specialized banks” (spetsbanks) in the last years of the Soviet Union (1988-1991). Consistent with the qualitative work of Joel Hellman [1993] and Juliet Johnson [2000], we show that these reforms generated an ideal natural experiment in that the concentration of spetsbanks is jointly uncorrelated with 15 predictors of future growth, including pre-banking income, education, anti-market sentiment, institutional quality, and government interference in the economy. Results indicate that while the presence of one additional spetsbank per million inhabitants increased total within-state lending to private firms and individuals by 14 to 26 percent in the early 2000s, it had no effect on investment or per capita income. In contrast, we find that spetsbanks increased employment. Additional results indicate that spetsbanks increased growth in regions in which they were less connected to government and were generally more similar to non-spetsbanks, as well as in regions that were better at protecting property rights. Our results thus strongly suggest that bank origins, political connections, and property rights are important determinants of effective finance.

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File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/tutkimus/tutkimusjulkaisut/dp/Documents/2012/dp1012.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 10/2012.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 02 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2012_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/
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  1. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 11.
  2. Berkowitz, Daniel & DeJong, David N., 2011. "Growth in post-Soviet Russia: A tale of two transitions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 133-143, June.
  3. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  4. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 1999. "Finance and the sources of growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2057, The World Bank.
  5. Kornai, Janos, 1992. "The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287766, March.
  6. Klapper, Leora & Lusardi, Annamaria & Panos, Georgios A., 2012. "Financial literacy and the financial crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5980, The World Bank.
  7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," NBER Working Papers 12129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Abarbanell, Jeffery S. & Meyendorff, Anna, 1997. "Bank Privatization in Post-Communist Russia: The Case of Zhilsotsbank," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 62-96, August.
  9. Daniel Berkowitz & Mark Hoekstra & Koen Schoors, 2012. "Does Finance Cause Growth? Evidence from the Origins of Banking in Russia," NBER Working Papers 18139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 1999. "Property Rights, Finance, and Entrepreneurship," CESifo Working Paper Series 212, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  12. Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Law and Finance "at the Origin"," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1076-1108, December.
  13. Jayaratne, Jith & Strahan, Philip E, 1996. "The Finance-Growth Nexus: Evidence from Bank Branch Deregulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 639-70, August.
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