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Stock Markets and Economic Growth

Evidence from South Africa

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Ortrun Anne Gronski

Stock markets have grown rapidly in many developing countries during the past ten years. Nevertheless there is little evidence as to whether a stock market is crucial for economic development. This study aims at filling this gap. Based on data from the Republic of South Africa, Anne Gronski investigates the impact of the stock market development on investment, savings and economic growth. The author first elaborates the potential effects of stock market development, then provides an overview over the political and economic developments in South Africa during the observation period and finally applies different econometric techniques to analyse the issue empirically. At first sight, the stock market development seems to have had a negative impact on South Africa’s development; while savings, investment and growth deteriorated, the stock market grew. However, the more detailed analyses show that inflation and political instability were the major culprits for the down-turn. The stock market prevented further decline in savings by providing inflation-adjusted returns. With regard to investment, the analyses show that as opposed to public investments, private investments were less affected by the unstable climate. Moreover, the analyses show that external equity finance gained importance during the considered period and that private investments reacted positively to the stock market development. The causality tests also confirm the positive effects of stock market development on economic growth.
Contents: Stock markets and economic growth: the issues of controversy – The link between stock market development, saving, investments and growth – The effects of stock market developments on saving – The effects of stock market development on investment.