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Information sharing and conditional financial development in Africa

Asongu, Simplice and Anyanwu, John and Tchamyou, Vanessa (2016): Information sharing and conditional financial development in Africa.

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This study examines conditional financial development from information sharing in 53 African countries for the period 2004-2011, using contemporary and non-contemporary quantile regressions (QR) which enable the assessment of the effect of information sharing throughout the conditional distributions of financial development dynamics. The policy relevance of the QR approach builds on the motivation that blanket policies on the role of information sharing in financial development may not be effective unless they are contingent on initial levels of financial development and tailored differently across countries with low, intermediate and high levels of financial development. Information sharing is measured with private credit bureaus (PCB) and public credit registries (PCR) while financial development is proxied with dynamics of depth, efficiency, activity and size. The following findings are established. First, for financial depth, while there is a positive threshold effect from PCR in money supply and liquid liabilities, the effect from PCB is mixed. Second, for financial efficiency, there is a: (i) contemporary positive threshold from PCR and mixed effect from PCB in banking system efficiency and (ii) U-shape and positive threshold from PCR and PCB respectively in financial system efficiency. Third, for financial activity, there are consistent positive thresholds from PCR and PCB in banking system activity and financial system activity. Fourth, there are negative thresholds from PCR and PCB in financial size. Positive thresholds are consistent incremental financial development rewards from PCR and/or PCB with increasing financial development and vice-versa for negative thresholds. Mixed effects are characterised by S-shaped, Kuznets or wave-like patterns. As a main policy implication, initial conditions in financial development are essential to materialise incremental benefits from PCR and PCB. Other policy implications are discussed.

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