Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Business and Economics



First Advisor

Dr. Jenny Minier


My dissertation investigates three separate issues pertaining to a country's financial development. The first essay provides an introduction to the three essays. The second essay examines the combined effect of financial development and human capital on economic growth. While both financial development and human capital are individually positively correlated with growth, the literature has not emphasized their combined effect on growth. In this essay, I analyze the extent to which the effect of financial development on growth depends on a country's level of human capital. Using dynamic panel difference and system GMM, as well as the pooled OLS, I find that an increase in human capital decreases the impact of financial development on growth and that countries that lack financial development can achieve greater economic growth through an improvement in human capital.

The third essay analyzes how currency unions affect the financial development of a country. This essay tests two forms of asymmetries on the effect of currency unions on financial development; I analyze if currency unions have an equal effect on various forms of financial development, and whether high-income and low-income countries are impacted differently. I find some evidence in favor of both forms of asymmetries with pooled OLS and fixed effect estimation using data on 152 countries and territories over the 1970-2006 time period.

The fourth essay tests how financial development affects firms' export market participations and the volume of exports utilizing a firm-level data set which incorporates about 43,500 firms from 80 countries for the time period 2002-2009. Using an instrumental variable approach, I find that a country's financial development negatively affects the extensive margin of trade and positively affects the intensive margin of trade. Furthermore, this study finds that financial development has a disproportionate positive affect on firms with a higher level of external dependence for both margins of trade. Finally, I find that financial development exerts an asymmetric effect on young and mature firms in their export participations but not on the volume of exports.