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 study aims to identify policies that influence the development of financial institutions as measured across three dimensions: depth, efficiency, and stability. Applying the concept of the financial possibility frontier, developed by Beck & Feyen (2013) and formalized by Barajas et al (2013a), we determine key policy variables affecting the gap between actual levels of development and benchmarks predicted by structural variables. Our dynamic panel estimation shows that inflation, trade openness, institutional quality, and banking crises significantly affect financial development. Our analysis also helps identify potential complementarities and trade-offs for policy makers, based on the effect of the policy variables across the different dimensions of financial development.