The Relationship Between Insurance and Economic Development: 85 Empirical Papers for a Review of the Literature


  • J. François Outreville

  • The author is grateful to the anonymous referees for their invaluable comments and suggestions. This research has received financial support from ICER in Turin, Italy. This article was subject to double-blind peer review.


The objective of this article is to propose a review of 85 empirical papers examining the relationships between insurance and economic development, that is, the insurance-growth nexus. When looking at the economic importance of the insurance sector, most papers in the past have looked at the demand side (the level of economic development is an explanatory variable among other factors that affect the demand for insurance). Because the role of the insurance sector and its contribution to development is at the agenda of international organizations and because the importance of the relationship between financial development and economic growth has been well recognized and emphasized in the field of economic development, more recent papers have examined the causality links between insurance and economic development and the role of insurance as a significant determinant in the process of economic growth.