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 analyzes the different channels through which financial variables and financial sector reform can affect economic growth and efficiency, using panel data for 40 countries which reformed their financial systems. Financial sector reform is hypothesized to affect economic growth and efficiency through three main channels: the real interest rate representing the interest cost of capital, the volume of intermediation, and financial sector efficiency. The results indicate that financial reforms have structural effects; that financial variables and reforms are important determinants of economic performance; that the impact depends on whether countries did or did not face a financial crisis; and that the “quality” of financial sector reform matters.