The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper studies the relationship between economic growth and financial development in China during the post-1978 reform period. Recent studies, based on cross-country data, have found a positive association between these two variables. We find that while a positive correlation between growth and financial intermediation exists in China, the association is more apparent than real. The nonstate sector, which contributed most to China's remarkable growth during this period, did not use the domestic financial system in any substantial way for financing. The same appears to be true for the faster-growing provinces. Compared to foreign investment, domestic private credit played a relatively small, although statistically significant, role in financing the nonstate sector and fast-growing provinces.