Abstract This paper provides a survey of the recent progress in the literature of financial development and economic growth. The survey highlights that most empirical studies focus on either testing the role of financial development in stimulating economic growth or examining the direction of causality between these two variables. Although the positive role of finance on growth has become a stylized fact, there are some methodological reservations about the results from these empirical studies. Several key issues unresolved in the literature are highlighted. The paper also points to several directions for future research.