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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. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    2. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
    3. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
      • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
      • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1988. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," Working Papers 88-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    8. Pesaran, M Hashem, 1997. "The Role of Economic Theory in Modelling the Long Run," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 178-91, January.
    9. repec:chb:bcchwp:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. Stanley Fischer, 1993. "The Role of Macroeconomic Factors in Growth," NBER Working Papers 4565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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.
    13. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
    14. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
    15. Bencivenga, Valerie R & Smith, Bruce D, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209, April.
    16. 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.
    17. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
    18. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-58, June.
    19. Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 1994. "Was Prometheus unbound by chance? Risk, diversification and growth," Economics Working Papers 98, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    20. 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.
    21. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
    22. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross, 2001. "Stock markets, banks, and growth : correlation or causality?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2670, The World Bank.
    23. 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.
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