Financial Liberalisation, Crises, and Economic Growth

Inkoo Lee, Jonghyup Shin
JEL codes: 
Working paper

It has been widely recognized that financial liberalization plays an important role in economic development. Although an expanding body of literature has documented this effect across space and time, the channel through which financial liberalization affects the economic growth remains unclear. This paper employs probit and panel regressions to show that financial liberalization is positively associated with economic growth, with the (positive) direct liberalization effect
dominating the (negative) indirect crisis effect. Financial liberalization is expected to increase GDP growth by 0.92 percentage point in the whole sample and by 0.99 percentage point in crisis experienced countries, respectively. Financial liberalization contributes to economic growth even when the sample is restricted to countries that experienced financial crises. We also test the effect of financial liberalization on the interest rates. The result is contrary to our expectation: financial liberalization increases the interest rates. We conjecture that the overshooting in interest rates
after a crisis and the removal of interest rate ceiling after liberalization are the main reasons for this phenomenon.