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What is happening to the impact of financial deepening on economic growth?

  • Paul Wachtel
  • Peter L. Rousseau

Although the finance-growth relationship is now firmly entrenched in the empirical literature, we show that it is not as strong in more recent data as it was in the original studies with data for the period from 1960 to 1989. We consider several explanations. First, we find that the incidence of financial crises is related to the dampening of the effect of financial deepening on growth. Excessive financial deepening or too rapid growth of credit may have led to both inflation and weakened banking systems which in turn gave rise to growth-inhibiting financial crises. Excessive financial deepening may also be a result of widespread financial liberalizations in the late 1980s and early 1990s in countries that lacked the legal or regulatory infrastructure to exploit financial development successfully. However, we find little indication that liberalizations played an important direct in reducing the effect of finance. Similarly, there is little evidence that the growth of equity markets in recent years has substituted for debt financing and led to a reduced role of financial deepening on growth.

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Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 06-15.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:06-15
Contact details of provider: Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
Phone: (212) 998-0860
Fax: (212) 995-4218
Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/

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  1. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2001. "Does Financial Liberalization Spur Growth?," NBER Working Papers 8245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Panicos O. Demetriades & Khaled A.Hussein, 1995. "Does Financial Development Cause Economic Growth? Time-Series Evidence from 16 Countries," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 95/13, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  3. Norman Loayza & Romain Ranciere, 2002. "Financial Development, Financial Fragility, and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 684, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Rousseau, Peter L & Wachtel, Paul, 1998. "Financial Intermediation and Economic Performance: Historical Evidence from Five Industrialized Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 657-78, November.
  5. Philip Arestis & Panicos O. Demetriades & Kul B. Luintel, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: the Role of Stock Markets," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 97/05, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  6. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-58, June.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  8. Rousseau, Peter L. & Wachtel, Paul, 2002. "Inflation thresholds and the finance-growth nexus," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 777-793, November.
  9. Rousseau, P. L. & Wachtel, P., 2000. "Equity markets and growth: Cross-country evidence on timing and outcomes, 1980-1995," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(12), pages 1933-1957, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Rioja, Felix & Valev, Neven, 2004. "Does one size fit all?: a reexamination of the finance and growth relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 429-447, August.
  12. Manning Mark J, 2003. "Finance Causes Growth: Can We Be So Sure?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, December.
  13. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Norman Loayza, 1999. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 56, Central Bank of Chile.
  14. Paul Wachtel, 2003. "How much do we really know about growth and finance?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 33-47.
  15. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
  16. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
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