Click here for search results


A New Measure of Financial Development Around the World

January 11, 2012


Martin Cihak, Lead Economist, FPDCE;
Erik Feyen, Senior Financial Specialist, FFSFA



Sergio Schmukler, Lead Economist, DECMG
Roberto Rocha, Senior Advisor, FFSDR



Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director, DECVP & Chief Economist, FPD


Benchmarking Financial Development Around the World
January 11, 2012

This is the second in a series of  seminars related to the 2013 Global Financial Development Report (GFDR).  The objective of the GFDR seminars is to present preliminary findings from the studies underlying the 2013 GFDR, and to get early informal feedback.  For presentations from past GFDR seminars, and for a list of planned GFDR seminars, please see

How do regions and countries stack up in terms of financial development? What are the key trends? Are there any surprises or new developments? What has been the effect of the financial crisis so far? To help in answering these and other questions, the presenters will introduce a comprehensive framework for measuring financial sector development. They will illustrate the framework with the help of a newly assembled database on development of financial institutions and financial markets around the world. They will overview the differentiation and trends in financial development across countries, showing how the level of financial development differs depending on government policies and other factors.

Why is this relevant?  Understanding financial development and measuring it properly is key for our policy advice. The measurement framework presented will be used throughout the GFDR to "benchmark" countries' financial development and to assess the effect of policies on financial development.

Filling the gaps... Despite progress in recent years, there are still many gaps in data on financial development. The presenters will introduce the Global Financial Development Database, a world-wide database combining and updating several financial sector data sets covering the four key dimensions—financial depth, access, efficiency, and stability—used to approximate the degree of financial development. The data fill many, although not all, of the gaps. The measurement framework and the database will be made publicly available on the GFDR website, and will be a part of the report's contribution.

What's old, and what's new? The Global Financial Development Database is a large dataset aimed primarily at external audience. It builds on existing databases and tools, such as the Financial Structure database, and the FinStat, and brings them forward by extensive updating and cleaning up of some of the series, in many cases requiring new calculations.  FinStats, a tool aimed primarily for internal use by World Bank staff, is also being updated and cleaned. 

Permanent URL for this page: