IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How interest rates changed under financial liberalization - a cross-country review


  • Honohan,Patrick Thomas


Financial liberalization was expected to make interest rates, and asset prices more volatile, with distributional consequences, such as reduced, or relocated rents, and increased competition in financial services. The author examines available data on money market, and bank interest rates for evidence of whether these things happened. He shows that as more and more countries liberalized, the level and dynamic behavior of developing-country interest rates converged to industrial-country norms. In the short term, volatility increased in both real, and nominal money market interest rates. Treasury bill rates, and bank spreads, evidently the most repressed, showed the greatest increase as liberalization progressed - shifting substantial rents from the public sector, and from favored borrowers. Whereas quoted bank spreads in industrial countries contracted somewhat in the late 1990s, spreads in developing countries remained much higher, presumably reflecting both market power, and the higher risks of lending in the developing world. There was no clear-cut change in mean rates of inflation, monetary depth, or GDP growth. If anything, there was a small average improvement in inflation, but a decline in monetary depth, and economic growth, relative to trends in industrial countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Honohan,Patrick Thomas, 2000. "How interest rates changed under financial liberalization - a cross-country review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2313, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2313

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
    2. Dalia Marin & Daniel Kaufmann & Bogdan Gorochowskij, 2000. "Barter in Transition Economies: Competing Explanations Confront Ukranian Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 287, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Sachs, Jeffrey D, 1996. "The Transition at Mid Decade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 128-133, May.
    4. Kaufman, Daniel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Does"grease money"speed up the wheels of commerce?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2254, The World Bank.
    5. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    6. Selowsky, Marcelo & Martin, Ricardo, 1997. "Policy Performance and Output Growth in the Transition Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 349-353, May.
    7. Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Corruption in economic development - beneficial grease, minor annoyance, or major obstacle?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2048, The World Bank.
    8. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
    9. J. Stiglitz, 1999. "Whither Reform? Ten Years of the Transition," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 7.
    10. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    11. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    12. repec:mes:challe:v:42:y:1999:i:6:p:26-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Calvet, Laurent & Gonzalez-Eiras, Martín & Sodini, Paolo, 2004. "Financial Innovation, Market Participation, and Asset Prices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(03), pages 431-459, September.
    2. Glick, Reuven & Hutchison, Michael, 2005. "Capital controls and exchange rate instability in developing economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 387-412, April.
    3. Winston Moore, 2014. "Managing The Process Of Removing Capital Controls: What Does The Literature Suggest?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 209-237, April.
    4. Davis, E. Philip & Karim, Dilruba, 2008. "Comparing early warning systems for banking crises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 89-120, June.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2313. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.