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Financial Development and Inequality: Brazil 1985-99

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  • Manoel F. Meyer Bittencourt

Abstract

We examine the impact that financial development had on earnings inequality in Brazil in the 1980’s and 90’s. The empirical evidence, based on panel time series and time series data, shows that more broad access to financial and credit markets had a significant and robust effect in reducing inequality during the period investigated. We suggest that this is not only because the poor can invest the acquired credit in all sorts of productive activities, but also because those with access to financial markets can insulate themselves against recurrent poor macroeconomic performance, which is exemplified by extreme inflation rates. The main implication of the results is that a seemingly non-distortionary policy, such as more credit aimed at the poor, alleviates the high inequality present in Brazil and consequently improves welfare without distorting economic efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c011_055.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_055

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Keywords: Financial development and markets; credit; inequality and welfare; inflation;

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  1. Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen, 1987. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," UCLA Economics Working Papers 496, UCLA Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Manoel Bittencourt, 2008. "Inflation and Financial Development: Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers 67, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  2. Zhuang, Juzhong & Gunatilake, Herath & Niimi, Yoko & Ehsan Khan, Muhammad & Jiang, Yi & Hasan, Rana & Khor, Niny & S. Lagman-Martin, Anneli & Bracey, Pamela & Huang, Biao, 2009. "Financial Sector Development, Economic Growth, and Poverty Reduction: A Literature Review," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 173, Asian Development Bank.
  3. Muhammad Shahbaz & Faridul Islam, 2011. "Financial Development And Income Inequality In Pakistan: An Application Of Ardl Approach," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 35-58, March.
  4. Ziv Chinzara & Radhika Lahiri, 2012. "Economic growth and inequality patterns in the presence of costly technology adoption and uncertainty," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 280, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  5. Monal Abdel-Baki, 2011. "The efficacy of the Egyptian bank reform plan in mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 221-241, August.
  6. Siong Hook Law & Hui Boon Tan, 2009. "The Role Of Financial Development On Income Inequality In Malaysia," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 153-168, December.

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