Does Financial Development ‘lead’ Economic Growth? The case of China

Jordan Shan


Qi Jianhong

Using a Vector Autoregression (VAR) approach, we examine the impact of financial development on economic growth in China. Innovation accounting (variance decomposition and impulse response function) analysis is applied to examine interrelationships between variables in the VAR system and, therefore, differs from the more usual approach. We find that financial development comes as the second force (after the contribution from labor input) in leading economic growth in China. This study has supported the view in the literature that financial development and economic growth exhibit a two-way causality and hence is against the so-called “finance-led growth” hypothesis. The study of this kind in the case of China is limited; it therefore provides an interesting advance in the literature on the finance-growth nexus.

Key Words: Financial Development; Economic Growth; VAR.
JEL Classification Numbers: 016; E44.