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Financial Development And Wage Inequality: Theory And Evidence


We argue that financial market development contributed to the rise in the skill premium and residual wage inequality in the US since the 1980s. We present an endogenous growth model with imperfect credit markets and establish how improving the efficiency of these markets affects modes of production, innovation and wage dispersion between skilled and unskilled workers. The experience of US states following banking deregulation provides empirical support for our hypothesis. We find that wages of college educated workers increased by between 0.5 - 1.2% following deregulation while those of workers with a high school diploma fell by about 2.2%. Similarly, residual (or within-group) inequality increased. The 90-50 percentile ratio of residuals from a Mincerian wage regression and their standard deviation increased by 4.5% and 1.8%, respectively.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 211-234

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:51:y:2013:i:1:p:211-234
DOI: j.1465-7295.2010.00341.x
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  18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "General Purpose Technology and Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 315-45, December.
  19. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
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