n Studies in Economics and Econometrics - Is financial integration a complement or substitute to domestic financial development in a developing country? Evidence from the SACU countries

Volume 33, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0379-6205


Using a multivariate cointegration and error correction modelling framework, with data from the SACU countries, this paper tested two rival theories on the effect of financial integration (FI), that is whether FI is a complement or a substitute to financial development (FD). Financial integration is a complement where it helps to boost domestic FD through greater competitive pressures on financial intermediaries, and encourage international good practices in accounting, financial regulation and supervision. It is a substitute where FI renders the local financial system irrelevant or causes it to deteriorate.

Overall, the empirical analysis finds strong evidence of a long-run relationship between FD and FI across the SACU countries. The results show that causality runs in both directions between FD and FI across the SACU countries with the exception of Lesotho where the causality runs mainly from FI to FD. No consistent effect of FI on FD (or the reverse) emerged from the empirical results in this sample. The results were also affected by the measurements used for the capital stock and FD. These results do not support any one-size-fits-all policy approach to stimulating FD or harnessing the benefits of FI, rather, they suggest that country specific aspects of the financial system should be paramount when analysing the impact of FI on FD.

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