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.
Financial liberalization has been a controversial issue as there is little empirical evidence for its positive effects on economic growth. However, we find sizable welfare gains, 1 to 28 percent of permanent consumption though, consistent with the literature, the gain in the economic growth is ambiguous, -0.2 to 0.7 percent. We apply a canonical growth model with endogenous financial deepening to Thailand, 1976-96. As effective bank transaction costs decline, more people take advantage of financial services. We estimate the gains by comparing model simulations under the historical episode of financial liberalization to those under a hypothetical continuation of financial repression.