This paper shows that the behavior of entrepreneurs facing incomplete financial markets and risky investment can explain why growth accelerations in developing countries tend to be associated with current account improvements. The uninsurable risk of losing invested capital forces entrepreneurs to rely on self-financing, so that when business opportunities open up entrepreneurs increase saving to finance the investment that produces growth. The key insight is that saving has to rise more than investment to allow also for the accumulation of precautionary assets. Plausibly calibrated simulations show that this net saving increase can sustain large and persistent net capital outflows.
In trend with a global pattern and following recommendations of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the number of stock markets in African countries has increased dramatically over the last ten years. Despite a scarcity of studies on the impact of stock markets on these economies, some policymakers have been arguing in favor of stock exchanges (national or regional) in eastern and southern Africa. The creation of such exchanges may be a premature project as they might lack an actual economic rationale. The present case study, for instance, suggests that the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) has little effect on the larger Zambian economy.