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Financial Development and Sectoral Output: Growth in 19th Century Germany

  • Westermann, Frank
  • Diekmann, Katharina

In this paper we re-evaluate the hypothesis that the development of the financial sector was an essential factor behind economic growth in 19th century Germany. We apply a structural VAR framework to a new annual data set from 1870 to 1912 that was initially recorded by Walther Hoffmann (1965). With respect to the literature, the distinguishing characteristic of our analysis is the focus on different sectors in the economy and the interpretation of the findings in the context of a two-sector growth model. We find that all sectors were affected significantly by shocks from the banking system. Interestingly, this link is the strongest in sectors with small, non-tradable goods producing firms, such as services, transportation and agriculture. In this regard, the growth patterns in 19th century Germany are reminiscent to those in today's emerging markets.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 81.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:81
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  1. 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.
  2. Jeremy Edwards & Marcus Nibler, 2000. "Corporate governance in Germany: the role of banks and ownership concentration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 237-267, October.
  3. Moritz Schularick & Thomas M Steger, 2010. "Financial Integration, Investment, and Economic Growth: Evidence from Two Eras of Financial Globalization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 756-768, November.
  4. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann (ed.), 2005. "Boom-Bust Cycles and Financial Liberalization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 9780262201599, June.
  5. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Lai, Kon S, 1993. "Finite-Sample Sizes of Johansen's Likelihood Ration Tests for Conintegration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(3), pages 313-28, August.
  6. Jeremy Edwards & Sheilagh Ogilvie, 1996. "Universal banks and German industrialization: a reappraisal," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 49(3), pages 427-446, 08.
  7. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
  8. Martin Schneider & Aaron Tornell, 2004. "Balance Sheet Effects, Bailout Guarantees and Financial Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71, pages 883-913, 07.
  9. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
  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. Webb, Steven B., 1982. "Agricultural Protection in Wilhelminian Germany: Forging an Empire with Pork and Rye," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 309-326, June.
  12. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1996. "Financial Dependence and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann & Lorenza Martinez, 2003. "Liberalization, Growth, and Financial Crises: Lessons from Mexico and the Developing World," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 1-112.
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