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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. Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman & Beck, Thorsten, 2000. "Financial intermediation and growth: Causality and causes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 31-77, August.
  2. Norman Loayza & Romain Ranciere, 2002. "Financial Development, Financial Fragility, and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 684, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Peter L. Rousseau & Paul Wachtel, 1998. "Equity Markets and Growth: Cross-Country Evidence on Timing and Outcomes, 1980-1995," Working Papers 98-09, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Demetriades, Panicos O. & Hussein, Khaled A., 1996. "Does financial development cause economic growth? Time-series evidence from 16 countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 387-411, December.
  8. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  9. Geert Bekaert & Campbell R. Harvey & Christian Lundblad, 2004. "Does Financial Liberalization Spur Growth?," Working Paper Research 53, National Bank of Belgium.
  10. 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.
  11. Ross Levine & Sara Zervos, . "Stock markets, banks and economic growth ," CERF Discussion Paper Series 95-11, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  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. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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