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Financial policies, growth, and efficiency


  • Gelb, Alan H.


Most developing countries intervene extensively in financial markets, setting ceilings on interest rates and spreads and allocating much (often between half and all) of formal credit to"priority"uses. This study reviews interest rate controls and other repressive financial policies on investment and efficiency, and investigates such relationships using a cross section analysis of 34 countries between 1965 and 1985. The report finds a significant positive correlation between growth and interest rates as well as between efficiency and interest rates. However, it finds little relationship between interest rates and investment levelsand no relationship between interest rates and the current account. The evidence found supports the need for liberalizing financial markets or at least supports measures against severe financial repression. That is not to say that abrupt liberalization is desirable or that certain interventions in financial markets may not be beneficial -- at least until measures to improve information, supervision, regulation, and macrostability have become effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Gelb, Alan H., 1989. "Financial policies, growth, and efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 202, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:202

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fry, Maxwell J., 1980. "Saving, investment, growth and the cost of financial repression," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 317-327, April.
    2. Cho, Yoon Je, 1986. "Inefficiencies from Financial Liberalization in the Absence of Well-Functioning Equity Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 191-199, May.
    3. Gonzales Arrieta, Gerardo M., 1988. "Interest rates, savings, and growth in LDCs: An assessment of recent empirical research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 589-605, May.
    4. Fischer, Stanley, 1988. "Symposium on the Slowdown in Productivity Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 3-7, Fall.
    5. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    6. Diaz-Alejandro, Carlos, 1985. "Good-bye financial repression, hello financial crash," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-24.
    7. Fry, Maxwell J, 1978. "Money and Capital or Financial Deepening in Economic Development?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 10(4), pages 464-475, November.
    8. Khatkhate, Deena R., 1988. "Assessing the impact of interest rates in less developed countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 577-588, May.
    9. Van Wijnbergen, S., 1985. "Macro-economic effects of changes in bank interest rates : Simulation results for South Korea," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 541-554, August.
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