The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence

51 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2004

See all articles by Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Peter Howitt

Brown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David Mayer-Foulkes

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) - Division of Economics

Date Written: March 2004

Abstract

We introduce imperfect creditor protection in a multi-country version of Schumpeterian growth theory with technology transfer. The theory predicts that the growth rate of any country with more than some critical level of financial development will converge to the growth rate of the world technology frontier, and that all other countries will have a strictly lower long-run growth rate. The theory also predicts that in a country that converges to the frontier growth rate, financial development has a positive but eventually vanishing effect on steady-state per-capita GDP relative to the frontier. We present cross-country evidence supporting these two implications. In particular, we find a significant and sizeable effect of an interaction term between initial per-capita GDP (relative to the United States) and a financial intermediation measure in an otherwise standard growth regression, implying that the likelihood of converging to the U.S. growth rate increases with financial development. We also find that, as predicted by the theory, the direct effect of financial intermediation in this regression is not significantly different from zero. These findings are robust to alternative conditioning sets, estimation procedures and measures of financial development.

Suggested Citation

Aghion, Philippe and Howitt, Peter and Mayer-Foulkes, David, The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence (March 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10358. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=515252

Philippe Aghion (Contact Author)

College de France and London School of Economics and Political Science, Fellow ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Peter Howitt

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-2145 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

David Mayer-Foulkes

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) - Division of Economics ( email )

Carretera Mexico Toluca 3655
01210 Mexico, D.F.
Mexico
+52 55 5727 9839 (Phone)
+52 55 5727 9878 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cide.edu/investigador/profile.php?IdInvestigador=25

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