IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Political instability: Effects on financial development, roots in the severity of economic inequality

Listed author(s):
  • Roe, Mark J.
  • Siegel, Jordan I.

We here bring forward strong evidence that political instability impedes financial development, with its variation a primary determinant of differences in financial development around the world. As such, it needs to be added to the short list of major determinants of financial development. First, structural conditions first postulated by Engerman and Sokoloff (2002) as generating long-term inequality are shown here to have strong empirical support as exogenous determinants of political instability. Second, that exogenously-determined political instability in turn holds back financial development, even when we control for factors prominent in the last decade's cross-country studies of financial development. The findings indicate that inequality-perpetuating conditions that result in political instability and weak democracy are fundamental roadblocks for international organizations like the World Bank that seek to promote financial development. The evidence here includes country fixed effect regressions and an instrumental model inspired by Engerman and Sokoloff's (2002) work, which to our knowledge has not yet been used in finance and which is consistent with current tests as valid instruments. Four conventional measures of national political instability â Alesina and Perotti's (1996) well-known index of instability, a subsequent index derived from Banks' (2005) work, and two indices of managerial perceptions of nation-by-nation political instability â persistently predict a wide range of national financial development outcomes. Political instability's significance is time consistent in cross-sectional regressions back to the 1960s, the period when the key data becomes available, robust in both country fixed effects and instrumental variable regressions, and consistent across multiple measures of instability and of financial development. Overall, the results indicate the existence of an important channel running from structural inequality to political instability, principally in nondemocratic settings, and then to financial backwardness. The robust significance of that channel extends existing work demonstrating the importance of political economy explanations for financial development and financial backwardness. It should help to better understand which policies will work for financial development, because political instability has causes, cures, and effects quite distinct from those of many of the key institutions most studied in the past decade as explaining financial backwardness.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014759671100014X
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 279-309

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:279-309
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, December.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
  3. Enrico C. Perotti & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2006. "The Political Economy of Corporate Control and Labor Rents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 145-174, February.
  4. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 4486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  7. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
  8. Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Law and Economics of Self-Dealing," NBER Working Papers 11883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  10. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
  11. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  12. Glaeser, Edward & Scheinkman, Jose & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The injustice of inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 199-222, January.
  13. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
  15. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, "undated". "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  16. Frankema, Ewout, 2006. "The Colonial Origins of Inequality: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Land Distribution," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-81, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Yunyong Thaicharoen, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  20. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. William O. Brown & Richard C. K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2005. "Volatility in an Era of Reduced Uncertainty: Lessons from Pax Britannica," NBER Working Papers 11319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, "undated". "What Works in Securities Laws?," Working Paper 19491, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  23. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
  24. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2003. "Fractionalization," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/229724, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  25. Stanley L. Engerman & Stephen H. Haber & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2000. "Inequality, institution and differential paths of growth among New World economies," Chapters, in: Institutions, Contracts and Organizations, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  26. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
  28. J. François OUTREVILLE, 1999. "Financial Development, Human Capital And Political Stability," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 142, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  29. Colin Mayer, 2008. "Trust in Financial Markets," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(4), pages 617-632.
  30. Meghana Ayyagari & Asli Demirgüc-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 2008. "How Well Do Institutional Theories Explain Firms' Perceptions of Property Rights?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1833-1871, July.
  31. Craig J. Richardson, 2005. "The Loss Of Property Rights And The Collapse Of Zimbabwe," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 25(3), pages 541-565, Fall.
  32. Perotti, Enrico C & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2007. "The Political Origin of Pension Funding," CEPR Discussion Papers 6100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Raghuram Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2003. "The Emergence of Strong Property Rights: Speculation from history," NBER Working Papers 9478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  35. Julian Franks & Colin Mayer & Stefano Rossi, 2009. "Ownership: Evolution and Regulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4009-4056, October.
  36. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-81 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. L Angeles, 2005. "Income Inequality and Colonialism," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 66, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  39. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2007. "Finance, inequality and the poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 27-49, March.
  40. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Pagano, Marco & Volpin, Paolo, 2001. "The Political Economy of Corporate Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  42. Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Investment, property rights and political instability: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1317-1341, July.
  43. Claessens, Stijn & Perotti, Enrico, 2007. "Finance and inequality: Channels and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 748-773, December.
  44. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
  45. Mark Gradstein, 2007. "Inequality, democracy and the protection of property rights," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 252-269, 01.
  46. Pushan Dutt & Devashish Mitra, 2008. "Inequality and the Instability of Polity and Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1285-1314, 08.
  47. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:279-309. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.