Financial openness is often associated with higher rates of economic growth. We show that the impact of openness on factor productivity growth is more important than the effect on capital growth. This explains why the growth effects of liberalization appear to be largely permanent, not temporary. We attribute these permanent liberalization effects to the role financial openness playsin stock market and banking sector development, and to changes in the quality of institutions. We find some indirect evidence of higherinvestment efficiency post-liberalization. We also document threshold effects: countries that are more financially developed or have higherquality of institutions experience larger productivity growth responses. Finally, we show that the growth boost from openness outweighs the detrimental loss in growth from global or regional banking crises.