Summary: This paper analyses the link between finance and growth by studying the effect that the process of financial deregulation and harmonisation of banking laws at the EU level has brought about on growth over the last 40 years. Our main findings point to the existence of a positive long-run growth impact from the liberalisation of capital controls and the harmonisation of banking legislation. Both policy changes affect growth even after controlling for other pro-growth policies implemented around the same time and they are robust to business cycle effects that could spuriously drive the relation. The analysis of the main channels through which our policy changes may have affected growth indicates that the harmonisation process has impacted growth through the increase in the level and efficiency of financial intermediation and the liberalisation of capital controls has mainly affected growth through improvements in the degree of efficiency in financial intermediation.
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53 p.

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