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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 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 risk taking. By increasing entrepreneurial risk taking, it raises income dispersion. By reducing the risk faced by entrepreneurs, it reduces income volatility. As a result, the relationship between investor protection and income inequality is non monotonic, since the risk-taking effect dominates at low levels of investor protection, while risk sharing becomes stronger when more risk is taken. Empirical evidence from up to sixty-seven countries spanning the period 1976–2004 supports the predictions of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonfiglioli, Alessandra, 2012. "Investor protection and income inequality: Risk sharing vs risk taking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 92-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:1:p:92-104
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.09.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Mani Motameni, 2015. "Private Insurance and Income Inequality in Iran," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 5(3), pages 418-425, March.
    2. Nabi, Mahmoud Sami, 2015. "Equity-financing, income inequality and capital accumulation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 322-333.
    3. 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).
    4. Pavel Ševcík, 2012. "Financial Contracts and the Political Economy of Investor Protection," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 163-197, October.
    5. repec:spr:soinre:v:136:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1534-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investor protection; Income inequality; Optimal financial contracts; Risk taking; Risk sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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