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Financial Dependence and Growth Revisited

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  • Raymond Fisman
  • Inessa Love

Abstract

In this note, we revisit an earlier, highly influential paper on Financial Dependence and Growth by Rajan and Zingales (1998), by re-examining their assumptions, and the robustness of their results to alternative theories and interpretations. We first show that they may be implicitly testing whether financial intermediaries allow firms to better respond to global shocks to growth opportunities, rather than the extent that financial intermediaries allow firms to grow in industries with an inherent (technological) financial dependence. Furthermore, if this is the case, we claim that there exists a more direct measure of growth opportunities. In particular, if U.S. capital markets are perfect, then actual growth in the U.S. is a good proxy for global growth opportunities. We test this directly, by including U.S. industry growth in Rajan and Zingales' original specification, and find that our direct growth measure outperforms their financial dependence measure and, moreover, is less vulnerable to controlling for outliers and level of development. This still suggests an important role for finance in the allocation of resources, but shifts the emphasis from 'financial dependence' to 'global growth opportunities.'

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond Fisman & Inessa Love, 2003. "Financial Dependence and Growth Revisited," NBER Working Papers 9582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9582 Note: CF EFG
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wurgler, Jeffrey, 2000. "Financial markets and the allocation of capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 187-214.
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    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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