The purpose of this paper is to examine the causal relationship between economic development and financial sector development for 28 countries at different stages of their development. The authors specifically focus on the nature of causality during economic boom and tranquil cycles.
The study uses quarterly time series panels of 17 developed and 11 emerging countries, during 1993Q1-2014Q4 with each having three sub-panels – full sample, a period of the economic uptrend (UP), and period of the economic downtrend. The authors use a univariate analysis for initial screening followed by panel unit root test, panel co-integration and causality test proposed by Toda–Yamamoto to examine the causal relationship.
The principal results suggest that for developed economies, there is a causal flow from financial sector to real sector in line with the “supply-leading” hypothesis, whereas for emerging economies, it is from real sector to financial sector, in line with the “demand-following” hypothesis. This overall relationship is strong for both emerging and developed economies during economic boom or UP cycles, but becomes weak during economic downturns or tranquil periods.
This study is different from previous studies on this issue and contributes to the existing literature in a number of ways. First, the focus of this paper revolves around identification of differential patterns in causal flows between real and financial sectors for different economies, across different economic cycles. Second, to present a robust representation of financial sector, the authors consider both banking sector and stock market parameters as the proxy for financial sector development. Third, the authors address the “stock-flow problem” in the measurement of financial variables a typical criticism of some of the previous studies. Finally, the authors use a rich sample size comprising of about 2,500 quarterly observations for each variable, with about 1,500 observations from developed and 1,000 from emerging economies.