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Capital account liberalization and income inequality

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  • Bumann, Silke
  • Lensink, Robert

Abstract

This article makes both a theoretical and an empirical contribution to the literature on financial liberalization and income inequality. In the first part, we develop a tractable model that features agents with varying investment abilities and a banking sector. There are two possible interventions to liberalize the banking sector: first, a reduction in reserve requirements, and, second, an increase in the amount of foreign funds that can be used to finance domestic loans. Financial liberalization leads to enhanced banking sector efficiency and adjustments in interest rates affecting income of investors and savers, and, therefore, income inequality. Theoretically, the impact of financial liberalization on income inequality is ambiguous. Yet, the model suggests that financial liberalization will improve income distribution in countries where financial depth is high. Our empirical estimates confirm this conditional effect. More precisely, the estimates suggest that capital account liberalization only tends to lower income inequality if the level of financial depth, as measured by private credit over GDP, exceeds 25 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Bumann, Silke & Lensink, Robert, 2016. "Capital account liberalization and income inequality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 143-162.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:61:y:2016:i:c:p:143-162
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2015.10.004
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    2. Enrico D'Elia & Roberta De Santis, 2018. "Growth divergence and income inequality in OECD countries:the role of trade and financial openness," Working Papers 5, Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance.
    3. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:113-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jakob de Haan & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2016. "How Development and Liberalisation of the Financial Sector is Related to Income Inequality: Some New Evidence," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1633, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    5. de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2017. "Finance and income inequality: A review and new evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 171-195.
    6. repec:kap:openec:v:29:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11079-018-9488-x is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bofinger, Peter & Scheuermeyer, Philipp, 2016. "Income Distribution and Aggregate Saving: A Non-Monotonic Relationship," CEPR Discussion Papers 11435, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Jae wook Jung & Kyunghun Kim, 2018. "Financial Market Integration and Income Inequality," Working Papers id:12916, eSocialSciences.
    9. LaGarda, Guillermo & Gallagher, Kevin & Linares, Jennifer, 2016. "Capital Openness and Income Inequality: A Cross-Country Study and The Role of CCT in Latin America," MPRA Paper 74181, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:eee:deveco:v:130:y:2018:i:c:p:127-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Nauro F. Campos & Paul De Grauwe & Yuemei Ji, 2017. "Structural Reforms, Growth and Inequality: An Overview of Theory, Measurement and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6812, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Kevin Gallagher & Guillermo Lagarda Cuevas & Jennifer Linares, 2017. "Capital Openness and Income Inequality: Smooth Sailing or Troubled Waters?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8589, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Mercedes Monfort & Javier Ordóñez & Hector Sala, 2018. "Inequality and Unemployment Patterns in Europe: Does Integration Lead to (Real) Convergence?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 703-724, September.
    14. repec:kap:enreec:v:71:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0185-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Scheuermeyer, Philipp & Bofinger, Peter, 2016. "Income Distribution and Household Saving: A Non-Monotonic Relationship," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145901, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Enrico D'Elia & Roberta De Santis, 2018. "Growth divergence and income inequality in OECD countries:the role of trade and financial openness," Working Papers LuissLab 18140, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
    17. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:40-55 is not listed on IDEAS

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