Rethinking Financial Deepening: Stability and Growth in Emerging Markets


Ratna Sahay ; Martin Cihak ; Papa M N'Diaye ; Adolfo Barajas ; Diana B Ayala Pena ; Ran Bi ; Yuan Gao ; Annette J Kyobe ; Lam Nguyen ; Christian Saborowski ; Katsiaryna Svirydzenka ; Reza Yousefi

Publication Date:

May 4, 2015

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: This Staff Discussion Note represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily represent IMF views or IMF policy. The views expressed herein should be attributed to the authors and not to the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management. Staff Discussion Notes are published to elicit comments and to further debate.


The global financial crisis experience shone a spotlight on the dangers of financial systems that have grown too big too fast. This note reexamines financial deepening, focusing on what emerging markets can learn from the advanced economy experience. It finds that gains for growth and stability from financial deepening remain large for most emerging markets, but there are limits on size and speed. When financial deepening outpaces the strength of the supervisory framework, it leads to excessive risk taking and instability. Encouragingly, the set of regulatory reforms that promote financial depth is essentially the same as those that contribute to greater stability. Better regulation—not necessarily more regulation—thus leads to greater possibilities both for development and stability.


Staff Discussion Notes No. 2015/008



Link to data appendix for this title


Publication Date:

May 4, 2015



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to