Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Neven T. Valev - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Sally Wallace

Third Advisor

Dr. Vassil T. Mihov

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Felix K. Rioja

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Shiferaw Gurmu


This dissertation is an investigation into one of the important functions of the banking system: to transform short-term liquid deposits into long-term illiquid financial assets that can fund long gestation activities and, thus, raise the rate of economic growth. To investigate this function empirically, the dissertation uses two new data sets on the maturity of bank credit to the private sector. First data set contains yearly observations covering 74 countries during the period from about 1990 to 2005, while the second data set contains quarterly observations covering 14 transition countries from about 1995 to 2006. Using the data on a broad set of countries, the dissertation shows that economic growth is enhanced in countries where the financial system extends more long-term credit. This finding is the first empirical confirmation of the theoretical predictions regarding the liquidity transformation function of banks. Furthermore, using the same data set, the dissertation shows that credit maturity depends on a number of institutional and economic factors. The determinants of credit maturity have an impact on economic growth via their influence on the availability of long-term external financing. Credit maturity is longer in countries with strong legal institutions, with low inflation, with deeper financial markets, and with schemes for sharing credit information between financial institutions. From a policy perspective, the institutions for sharing credit information probably present the most interest because their establishment is a policy choice. Findings from the broad set of countries are confirmed in the second data set using several definitions of maturity. Additional results from the second data set suggest that credit maturity is longer in countries at the higher level of economic development, with less liquid stock markets, and with more privately owned domestic banks. Furthermore, the results suggest that credit information sharing mechanisms lengthen the maturity of credit if credit information sharing institutions are privately owned or have greater quality of information.


Included in

Economics Commons