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An Empirical Reassessment of the Relationship Between Finance and Growth

  • Giovanni Favarra
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    This paper reexamines the empirical relationship between financial development and economic growth. It presents evidence based on cross-section and panel data using an updated dataset, a variety of econometric methods, and two standard measures of financial development: the level of liquid liabilities of the banking system and the amount of credit issued to the private sector by banks and other financial institutions. The paper identifies two sets of findings. First, in contrast with the recent evidence of Levine, Loayza, and Beck (2001), cross-section and panel-data-instrumental-variables regressions reveal that the relationship between financial development and economic growth is, at best, weak. Second, there is evidence of nonlinearities in the data, suggesting that finance matters for growth only at intermediate levels of financial development. Moreover, using a procedure appropriately designed to estimate long-run relationships in a panel with heterogeneous slope coefficients, there is no clear indication that finance spurs economic growth. Instead, for some specifications, the relationship is, puzzlingly, negative.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/123.

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    Length: 46
    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/123
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    1. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross, 2001. "Stock markets, banks, and growth : correlation or causality?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2670, The World Bank.
    3. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
    5. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. " Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
    6. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    8. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. Liu, Zhenjuan & Stengos, Thanasis, 1999. "Non-linearities in Cross-Country Growth Regressions: A Semiparametric Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(5), pages 527-38, Sept.-Oct.
    10. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, . "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
    11. Pesaran, M.H., 1996. "The Role of Economic Theory in Modelling the Long Run," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9612, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    12. Jonathan R. W. Temple, 1998. "Robustness tests of the augmented Solow model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 361-375.
    13. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:195-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Canova, Fabio & Marcet, Albert, 1995. "The Poor Stay Poor: Non-Convergence Across Countries and Regions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
    16. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:277-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Savvides, A. & Stengos, T., 2000. "Measures of Human Capital and Nonlinearities in Economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-5, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    18. Kevin Lee & M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron Smith, 1996. "Growth and Convergence in a Multi-Country Empirical Stochastic Solow Model," Working Papers 9637, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 1996.
    19. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
    20. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
    21. Li, Q. & Wang, Suojin, 1998. "A simple consistent bootstrap test for a parametric regression function," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 145-165, August.
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