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Fifty Years of Finance and Development: Does Causation Matter?


  • Peter Lawrence

    () (Keele University Department of Economics)


This paper addresses the question of the necessity to find a causal relationship between financial development and growth and whether this relationship means anything at the macro level. Over the last 50 years the debate about this relationship has swung from an initial consensus that financial development follows, or is at least inter-related with growth, to an almost equally consensual belief that sustained economic growth follows from financial development. This paper argues that the relationship between financial development and economic growth is too complex to allow for such generalized assertions and that the evidence brought out in contemporary and historical research to support the newWashington-led consensus is seriously flawed. New research directions need to establish which financial policies work, especially at micro-level, and when, and to re-focus on the issue of production and the role finance can play in supporting productive investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Lawrence, 2003. "Fifty Years of Finance and Development: Does Causation Matter?," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2003/07, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kee:kerpuk:2003/07
    Note: The work presented here derives from research into the effects of financial policy on household behaviour, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Social Science Research, under contract R7968. The views presented here are those of the author and not of DFID. This is a revised version of a paper presented to the DSA Economics, Finance and Development Study Group Conference on 50 years of Development Economics in July 2003.

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    Cited by:

    1. Ngalim, Siti Manisah & Ismail, Abdul Ghafar, 2015. "An Islamic Vision Development Based Indicators in Analysing the Islamic Banks Performance: Evidence from Malaysia, Indonesia and selected GCC Countries," Working Papers 1436-2, The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI).

    More about this item


    Causation; development economics; financial development; growth Classification-J.E.L. Class O11; O16; O19;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations


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