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Why Has the US Financial Sector Grown So Much?

  • NYU-Stern

    (NBER, CEPR)

Registered author(s):

    The share of finance in U.S. GDP has been multiplied by more than three over the post-war period. I argue, using evidence and theory, that corporate finance is a key factor behind this evolution. Inside the finance industry, credit intermediation and corporate finance are more important than globalization, increased trading, or the development of mutual funds for explaining the trend. In the non financial sector, firms with low cash flows account for a growing share of total investment. I build a simple equilibrium model to capture these salient features and I use it to interpret the data. I find that corporate demand is the main contributor to the growth of the finance industry, but also that efficiency gains in finance have been important to limit credit rationing. Overall, the model can account for a bit more than half of the financial sector's growth.

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2008/paper_714.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 714.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:714
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
    Fax: 1-314-444-8731
    Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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    1. Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9002, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
    2. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sánchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Financing development: the role of information costs," Working Papers 2010-024, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 2003. "Globalization and Capital Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 121-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2007. "Comparative advantage, demand for external finance, and financial development," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 796-834, December.
    5. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, June.
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