FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE, BANKING SECTOR COMPETITION, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

Authors


sclaessens@worldbank.org;

llaeven@worldbank.org

Abstract

The relationships among competition in the financial sector, access of firms to external financing, and associated economic growth are ambiguous in theory. Moreover, measuring competition in the financial sector can be complex. In this paper we first estimate for 16 countries an industrial organization-based measure of banking system competition. We then relate this competition measure to growth of industries and find that greater competition in countries' banking systems allows financially dependent industries to grow faster. These results are robust under a variety of tests. Our results suggest that the degree of competition is an important aspect of financial sector functioning. (JEL: D4, G21, L11, L80, O16)

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