New Empirical Evidence on Local Financial Development and Growth
In this paper, we show that the regional finance-growth nexus in Italy is robust to a series of innovations with respect to the existing literature on the topic. We use finer measures of economic and financial development, as well as instruments with a deeper economic content. We rely on state-of-the-art cross-sectional and panel estimation methods, and we offer a thorough investigation of the nonlinearities in the relation between finance and growth. Our results show that, while local financial development is a key factor for economic growth, in regions with inefficient courts more credit might translate into reduced growth due to opportunistic behaviour and the consequent misallocation of funds.