The influence and effects of financial development on economic growth. An empirical approach
This study examines the empirical relationship between financial development and economic growth. The employed data set includes a representative selection of 60 countries over the period 1965-1997. To test the empirical relationship between finance and growth, I have used OLS regressions and three indicators of financial sector development. These indicators measure the financial sector by size (liquid liabilities) and activity (credit provided to the private sector and credit by banks). In accordance to earlier research, the financial sector plays an important part in economic growth as it can reduce the cost of acquiring information, conducting transactions and facilitating savings mobilisation. By providing these services, the financial sector can enhance resource allocation and increase aggregate savings. The study identifies three sets of findings. First, I run regressions by using financial indicators averaged over the period 1965-1997, and I find a positive statistical relationship between financial development and economic growth. The second finding is based on regressions with financial indicators measured in the initial year 1965. These regressions support the first findings, in addition to testing for the long-run effects and checking for causality. While the two first findings are in accordance with earlier studies, the third finding adds to previous research by controlling for the level of economic development. In the last regressions, the sample has been separated into different income groups, interacting with the three financial variables. Financial sector development seems to have at least the same importance in developing countries as in industrialised countries, especially concerning increased credit allocated to the private sector. Credit provided to the private sector seems to follow a path with increased influence associated with a decreased income level, and seems to be important for convergence and a country's economic growth.
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Vegard Bye, Dr.philos, CMI Affiliated Researcher, Senior Partner Scanteam Peder Østebø, M.A., Graduate Research Fellow, NUPI