Benchmarking Financial Systems with a New Database
By Martin Cihak, co-authors: Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Erik Feyen
Mon, Sep 24, 2012 4:23pm
How do financial systems around the world stack up? Which one has the highest number of bank accounts per capita? Where in the world do we find the lowest interest rate spreads, and where are they the highest? Which country has the most active stock market? Has competition among banks increased or decreased in recent years? Are financial institutions and financial markets in developed economies more or less stable than those in developing ones? Answers to these and many other interesting questions can be found in the Global Financial Development Database, accompanying the 2013 Global Financial Development Report. Both the database and the report were published earlier this month.
The Global Financial Development Database is the most comprehensive publicly available dataset on financial development. It contains over 70 financial system indicators for more than 200 economies on an annual basis from 1960 to 2010. All these indicators are categorized in four broad categories: (a) size of financial institutions and markets (financial depth), (b) degree to which individuals can and do use financial services (access), (c) efficiency of financial intermediaries and markets in intermediating resources and facilitating financial transactions (efficiency), and (d) stability of financial institutions and markets (stability). The selection of these indicators, their detailed definitions and links between the empirical data and the conceptual literature on financial development are discussed in an underlying working paper.
Considerable effort was involved in collecting, cleaning and checking this unique database, which builds upon and improves upon several existing data sources. One of the earlier efforts in this area was the Database on Financial Development and Structure, introduced in Beck, Demirgüç-Kunt, and Levine (2000), and subsequently updated several times. The Global Financial Development Database extends, updates and recalculates these country-by-country indicators, many of which are based on underlying data for individual institutions and markets. (For completeness, the Database on Financial Development and Structure has now been updated again, to be consistent with the more comprehensive Global Financial Development Database.)
In addition to the large electronic file with the Global Financial Development Database, there is also a smaller, pocket version of the dataset, published as the Little Data Book on Financial Development. The booklet shows a subset of indicators for the four categories of financial system characteristics (depth, access, efficiency, and stability) explored in the main database. The data are shown for individual countries as well as for country groups.
Complete text: http://blogs.worldbank.org/allaboutfinance/benchmarking-financial-systems-with-a-new-database