Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Financial Harmonization and Industrial Growth: Evidence from Europe

Ozkok, Zeynep (2012): Financial Harmonization and Industrial Growth: Evidence from Europe.

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This paper analyzes the growth effects of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) of the European Commission, a set of measures and directives that aim to harmonize European financial markets. Using a panel of 25 countries and 30 industries, we find that the standard specification predicts harmonization to lower growth, though the negative effect is mitigated for industries that depend more on external finance. We then show that this seemingly surprising result is due to omitted variable bias. We would expect early adopters to bear more of the costs and experience less of the benefits of harmonization. Once we control for the relative timing of adoption, harmonization is shown to have a positive effect on growth. This finding is robust to including further controls, splitting up the sample into different groups of countries, and extending the model to a dynamic setting.

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