The paper examines the relationship between financial development and economic growth using panel data for five emerging South Asian countries - Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The heterogeneous panel data is collected from the World Bank for the period of 1974 to 2012. Economic Growth is represented by GDP growth rate, and for Financial Development, five major variables have been used: (i) Domestic Credit Provided by Financial Sector, (ii) Total Debt Services, (iii) Gross Domestic Savings, (iv) Broad Money, and (v) Trade Balance. Fixed Effect Panel regression model has been used and Time Fixed Effect, Cross Sectional Dependence, Heteroskedasticity, Serial Correlation and Cointegration have been tested for model fitness. The results indicate that growth of total debt services and domestic savings have significant impact on economic development of these countries. Interestingly, broad money, trade balance and domestic credit have no considerable influence on fostering economic growth which is generally unexpected. The paper places several arguments to explain these results. The study appears to be a first hand examination on the South Asian countries and adds new insight into the existing literature. The findings and discussions presented would be valuable in designing long term financial and macroeconomic policies by these countries.
Non-life insurance companies are an important part of the financial system in any country. Constant development and financial sustainability of these institutions is key to foster the rapidly growing economic activities of emerging economies like Bangladesh. This study made an attempt to establish the impact of different firm-specific factors on profitability using the non-life insurance sector in Bangladesh. A thriving insurance industry, especially in the non-life sector, can accelerate economic growth by mobilizing large funds and providing risk-hedging services to economic activities. This paper investigates the temporary and permanent impact of different firm-specific factors on financial performance, using the case of the non-life insurance sector in Bangladesh: one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Using panel data on 16 non-life insurance companies from 1999 to 2014, this paper utilizes both Static Panel Data (SPD) and Dynamic Panel Data (DPD) estimation techniques. For DPD estimation, a Pooled Mean Group (PMG) estimator built on an ARDL Framework that can produce short run and long run impacts separately has been employed. In addition to the average impact generated from static estimations, this paper identifies the significant impact of all variables on profitability in the long-term (those of a permanent nature) while the investment ratio shows some impact in the short-term (those of a temporary nature). The results of the study indicate that the average impact is predominantly derived from the long-term and thus appear to be permanent in nature. Moreover, investment ratio contributes positively to profitability, mostly in the short-term (temporarily) with some effects in the long-term. The findings on liquidity and investment ratio suggest the permanent nature of their impact on profitability in the long-term and, hence, insurers are probably better served investing funds in short-term opportunities (e.g. investing in securities) rather than in long-term ones. Lastly, the empirical results regarding the impact of leverage is not clear, as it shows mixed impact in two different estimations, including the permanent nature of negative impact in the long-term. The non-life insurance companies of Bangladesh should implement strong policies to reduce the faulty underwriting procedures to improve the profitability. This paper offers significant contributions to the literature by separately identifying the 'temporary' and 'permanent' impact of several determinants, thereby producing novel estimations for Bangladesh that may have implications for other emerging economies.