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Inequality, financial development and economic growth in the OECD, 1870–2011

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  • Madsen, Jakob B.
  • Islam, Md. Rabiul
  • Doucouliagos, Hristos

Abstract

Inequality's effect on growth remains elusive, largely due to endogeneity, complex interactions, and lead–lag relationships. We revisit this issue by examining the four main channels through which inequality transmits to growth: savings, investment, education, and knowledge production. We construct new panel data for 21 OECD countries spanning 142 years. External communist influence is used as a new time-varying instrument for inequality and the effects of inequality on the outcome variables are made conditional on the stage of financial development. Our results show that inequality hampers growth at low to moderate levels of financial development but has little effect on growth at advanced levels of financial development.

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  • Madsen, Jakob B. & Islam, Md. Rabiul & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2018. "Inequality, financial development and economic growth in the OECD, 1870–2011," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 605-624.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:605-624
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.11.004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Financial development; Transmission channels;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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