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Finance and Inequality: Theory and Evidence

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  • Asli Demirg��-Kunt
  • Ross Levine

    ()
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C. 20433
    Brown University and the NBER, Providence, Rhode Island 02912)

Abstract

In this paper, we critically review the literature on finance and inequality, highlighting substantive gaps in the literature. Finance plays a crucial role in the preponderance of theories of persistent inequality. Unsurprisingly, therefore, economic theory provides a rich set of predictions concerning both the impact of finance on inequality and about the relevant mechanisms. While subject to ample qualifications, the bulk of empirical research suggests that improvements in financial contracts, markets, and intermediaries expand economic opportunities and reduce inequality. Yet, there is a shortage of theoretical and empirical research on the potentially enormous impact of formal financial sector policies, such as bank regulations and securities law, on persistent inequality. Furthermore, we lack a conceptual framework for considering the joint and endogenous evolution of finance, inequality, and economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Pages: 287-318

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Handle: RePEc:anr:refeco:v:1:y:2009:p:287-318

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Keywords: income distribution; development; growth; banks; capital markets; regulation;

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Cited by:
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  2. Sun, Puyang & Sen, Somnath & Jin, Shujing, 2012. "Equity market liberalization, credit constraints and income inequality," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-22, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Delis, Manthos D. & Hasan, Iftekhar & Kazakis , Pantelis, 2012. "Bank regulations and income inequality: Empirical evidence," Research Discussion Papers 18/2012, Bank of Finland.
  4. World Bank, 2011. "Turkey - Improving Conditions for SME Growth Finance and Innovation," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12211, The World Bank.
  5. Céline Gimet & Thomas Lagoarde-Segot, 2011. "A closer look at financial development and income distribution," Post-Print halshs-00564641, HAL.
  6. Cihak, Martin & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Feyen, Erik & Levine, Ross, 2013. "Financial Development in 205 Economies, 1960 to 2010," Journal of Financial Perspectives, EY Global FS Institute, vol. 1(2), pages 17-36.
  7. Thomas K.J. McDermott, . "Disasters and Development: Natural Disasters, Credit Constraints and Economic Growth," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp363, IIIS.
  8. Cihak, Martin & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Feyen, Erik & Levine, Ross, 2012. "Benchmarking financial systems around the world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6175, The World Bank.
  9. Tobias F. Rötheli, 2011. "The Kuznets curve: determinants of its shape and the role of finance," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 149-159, June.
  10. Kunieda, Takuma & Okada, Keisuke & Shibata, Akihisa, 2011. "Finance and Inequality: How Does Globalization Change Their Relationship?," MPRA Paper 35358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Bouton, Lawrence & Tiongson, Erwin R., 2010. "Subjective perceptions of financing constraints: How well do they reflect credit market conditions?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 98-105, June.
  12. Ross Levine, 2010. "An autopsy of the US financial system: accident, suicide, or negligent homicide," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(3), pages 196-213, August.
  13. Nakamura, Hideki & Nakajima, Tetsuya, 2011. "A credit market in early stages of economic development," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 42-44, July.
  14. Menyah, Kojo & Nazlioglu, Saban & Wolde-Rufael, Yemane, 2014. "Financial development, trade openness and economic growth in African countries: New insights from a panel causality approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 386-394.
  15. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Klapper, Leora & Singer, Dorothe, 2013. "Financial inclusion and legal discrimination against women : evidence from developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6416, The World Bank.
  16. Sebastian Jauch & Sebastian Watzka, 2011. "Financial Development and Income Inequality: A Panel Data Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 3687, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Claessens, Stijn & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2013. "Corporate governance in emerging markets: A survey," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-33.

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