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Further Statistical Debate on "Too Much Finance"

Listed author(s):
  • William R. Cline

    ()

    (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

This paper evaluates recent findings by researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on "too much finance." It first critiques the OECD findings, which seem to imply that the optimal amount of finance is zero, given the linear specification of the main tests. It then finds that the negative impact of additional finance on growth is reversed when the appropriate (purchasing-power-parity) per capita income is applied and country fixed effects are removed. Separate tests for countries with intermediated finance below and above 60 percent of GDP show a significant positive effect of finance on growth in the lower group but an insignificant effect in the higher group. An appendix replies to critics of my earlier study (Cline 2015b) in which I argued that an estimated negative quadratic effect of finance on growth was likely to be a spurious correlation reflecting convergence-based lower growth at higher per capita incomes. It notes that the critics' own logarithmic tests, yielding a positive marginal impact of finance on growth even at high levels, achieve comparable explanation to their quadratic form yielding a negative marginal impact. It finds that adding dummy variables for below and above intermediate financial depth to the logarithmic form does not support the inverse U influence found in the quadratic form.

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Paper provided by Peterson Institute for International Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number WP15-16.

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Date of creation: Oct 2015
Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp15-16
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  1. Jo Thori Lind & Halvor Mehlum, 2010. "With or Without U? The Appropriate Test for a U-Shaped Relationship," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 109-118, 02.
  2. William R. Cline, 2015. "Too Much Finance, or Statistical Illusion?," Policy Briefs PB15-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  3. William Hauk & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "A Monte Carlo study of growth regressions," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 103-147, June.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2015. "The Next Generation of the Penn World Table," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3150-3182, October.
  5. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
  6. Boris Cournède & Oliver Denk, 2015. "Finance and economic growth in OECD and G20 countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1223, OECD Publishing.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  8. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
  9. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 1999. "The big push, natural resource booms and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-76, June.
  10. 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.
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