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Investor Protection and Income Inequality: Risk Sharing vs Risk Taking

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  • Bonfiglioli, Alessandra

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between investor protection, entrepreneurial risk taking and income inequality. In the presence of market frictions, better protection makes investors more willing to take on entrepreneurial risk when lending to firms, thereby improving the degree of risk sharing between financiers and entrepreneurs. On the other hand, by increasing risk sharing, investor protection also induces more firms to undertake risky projects. By increasing entrepreneurial risk taking, it raises income dispersion. By reducing the risk faced by entrepreneurs, it reduces income volatility. As a result, investor protection raises income inequality to the extent that it fosters risk taking, while it reduces it for a given level of risk taking. Empirical evidence from a panel of forty-five countries spanning the period 1976-2000 supports the predictions of the model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7853.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7853

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Keywords: income inequality; investor protection; optimal financial contracts; risk sharing; risk taking;

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Cited by:
  1. Pavel Ševcík, 2012. "Financial Contracts and the Political Economy of Investor Protection," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 163-97, October.
  2. Heshmati, Almas & Kim, Jungsuk, 2014. "A Survey of the Role of Fiscal Policy in Addressing Income Inequality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 8119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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