IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Growth, Uncertainty and Finance


  • K Blackburn
  • D Varvarigos


We study the effects of uncertainty on long-run growth in two model economies, where households fund risky investment projects of entrepreneurs in the presence of financial market imperfections. Imperfections in the first model are due to asymmetric information which is resolved through costly state verification. In this case, some entrepreneurs may decide at the outset not to borrow and not to run projects. Imperfections in the second model are due to incomplete enforceability of loan contracts. In this case, all entrepreneurs are willing to borrow, but some of them may choose not to run projects, preferring to abscond with their loans, instead. We show that, in both cases, an increase in uncertainty increases the rate of interest on loans which increases the number of entrepreneurs who abstain from running projects. This reduces capital accumulation and growth. We also show that financial market frictions have similar effects, and that the effects of uncertainty disappear when these frictions are absent.

Suggested Citation

  • K Blackburn & D Varvarigos, 2005. "Growth, Uncertainty and Finance," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 48, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:48

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
    2. Mirman, Leonard J, 1971. "Uncertainty and Optimal Consumption Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(1), pages 179-185, January.
    3. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 1998. "Volatility and the welfare costs of financial market integration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1974, The World Bank.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Gilles Saint-Paul, 1998. "Uncovering Some Causal Relationships Between Productivity Growth and the Structure of Economic Fluctuations: A Tentative Survey," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 12(2), pages 279-303, July.
    5. Keith Blackburn & Niloy Bose & Salvatore Capasso, 2005. "Financial Development, Financing Choice and Economic Growth," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 135-149, May.
    6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    7. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1997. "Stabilization Policy, Learning-by-Doing, and Economic Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 152-166, April.
    8. Aizenman, Joshua & Powell, Andrew, 2003. "Volatility and financial intermediation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 657-679, October.
    9. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Joshua Aizenman, 1998. "Contagion and Volatility with Imperfect Credit Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 207-235, June.
    10. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P, 1993. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 145-163, June.
    11. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    12. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
    13. Smith, R Todd, 1996. "Cyclical Uncertainty, Precautionary Saving and Economic Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 477-494, August.
    14. Martin, Philippe & Ann Rogers, Carol, 2000. "Long-term growth and short-term economic instability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 359-381, February.
    15. Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Maria E. Muniagurría, 1993. "Policy variability and economic growth," Economics Working Papers 30, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    16. Blackburn, Keith & Pelloni, Alessandra, 2004. "On the relationship between growth and volatility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 123-127, April.
    17. de Hek, Paul A, 1999. "On Endogenous Growth under Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 727-744, August.
    18. repec:hrv:faseco:30752799 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1993. "The cyclical behavior of short-term business lending: Implications for financial propagation mechanisms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 623-631, April.
    20. Salvatore Capasso, 2004. "Financial Markets, Development and Economic Growth: Tales of Informational Asymmetries," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18, pages 267-292, July.
    21. Blackburn, Keith & Bose, Niloy, 2003. "A model of trickle-down through learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 445-466, January.
    22. K Blackburn & R Galindev, 2003. "Growth, volatility and learning," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 25, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    23. Brock, William A. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1972. "Optimal economic growth and uncertainty: The discounted case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 479-513, June.
    24. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1971. "Increasing risk II: Its economic consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 66-84, March.
    25. Kneller, Richard & Young, Garry, 2001. "Business Cycle Volatility, Uncertainty and Long-Run Growth," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(5), pages 534-552, Special I.
    26. Jerusalem D. Levhari & T. N. Srinivasan, 1969. "Optimal Savings under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 153-163.
    27. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    28. Blackburn, Keith & Galindev, Ragchaasuren, 2003. "Growth, volatility and learning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 417-421, June.
    29. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    30. Azariadis, Costas & Chakraborty, Shankha, 1999. "Agency Costs in Dynamic Economic Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 222-241, April.
    31. Douglas Gale & Martin Hellwig, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 647-663.
    32. Hugo A. Hopenhayn & María E. Muniagurria, 1996. "Policy Variability and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 611-625.
    33. K Blackburn & R Galindev, 2003. "Growth, Volatility and Learning," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0303, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide, 2010. "Government size, composition, volatility and economic growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 517-532, December.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:man:cgbcrp:48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marianne Sensier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.