IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Time-varying evidence of predictability of financial stress in the United States over a century: The role of inequality


  • Balcilar, Mehmet
  • Berisha, Edmond
  • Gupta, Rangan
  • Pierdzioch, Christian


In this paper, we analyze time-varying predictability of financial stress due to growth in income inequality of the United States (US) over the annual period of 1913 to 2016. In order to ensure that we remove the asset price effects on income inequality, and provide incorrect inferences regarding the impact on financial stress, we work with capital-gains excluded six alternative measures of top shares of pretax income and wages. We find that the top 10%, the top 10% to 5%, and the top 5% to 1% inequality growth rates tend to predict financial stress relatively better than the corresponding inequality growth rates associated with the top 1%, top 0.1%, and the top 0.01% of the income distribution. Moreover, all the six metrics of inequality growth is capable of predicting the heightened financial stress observed during the onset of the Great Depression and the same associated with the recent global financial crisis. Finally, our in-sample evidence of predictability tends to carry over to an out-of-sample forecasting exercise under four out of the six measures of inequality considered, and in particular for the broader measures of inequality – a result consistent with our in-sample analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Balcilar, Mehmet & Berisha, Edmond & Gupta, Rangan & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2021. "Time-varying evidence of predictability of financial stress in the United States over a century: The role of inequality," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 87-92.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:57:y:2021:i:c:p:87-92
    DOI: 10.1016/j.strueco.2021.02.002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pascal Paul, 2023. "Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 55(7), pages 1641-1665, October.
    2. Grabka, Markus M., 2015. "Income and Wealth Inequality after the Financial Crisis: The Case of Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 371-390.
    3. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2009. "The long-run determinants of inequality: What can we learn from top income data?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 974-988, August.
    4. Michael Kumhof & Romain Rancière & Pablo Winant, 2015. "Inequality, Leverage, and Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1217-1245, March.
    5. Yamarik, Steven & El-Shagi, Makram & Yamashiro, Guy, 2016. "Does inequality lead to credit growth? Testing the Rajan hypothesis using state-level data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 63-67.
    6. Florian Huber & Gary Koop & Luca Onorante, 2021. "Inducing Sparsity and Shrinkage in Time-Varying Parameter Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 669-683, July.
    7. Jeong, Kiho & Härdle, Wolfgang K. & Song, Song, 2012. "A Consistent Nonparametric Test For Causality In Quantile," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 861-887, August.
    8. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
    9. Shinhye Chang & Rangan Gupta & Stephen M. Miller, 2018. "Causality Between Per Capita Real GDP and Income Inequality in the U.S.: Evidence from a Wavelet Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 269-289, January.
    10. Bordo, Michael D. & Meissner, Christopher M., 2012. "Does inequality lead to a financial crisis?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2147-2161.
    11. Cristiano Perugini & Jens Hölscher & Simon Collie, 2016. "Inequality, credit and financial crises," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 227-257.
    12. Salvatore Morelli & Anthony Atkinson, 2015. "Inequality and crises revisited," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 32(1), pages 31-51, April.
    13. Barbara Rossi & Yiru Wang, 2019. "VAR-Based Granger-Causality Test in the Presence of Instabilities," Working Papers 1083, Barcelona School of Economics.
    14. Mehmet Akif Destek & Bilge Koksel, 2019. "Income inequality and financial crises: evidence from the bootstrap rolling window," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-23, December.
    15. Chang, Shinhye & Gupta, Rangan & Miller, Stephen M. & Wohar, Mark E., 2019. "Growth volatility and inequality in the U.S.: A wavelet analysis," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 521(C), pages 48-73.
    16. Edward Wolff, 2013. "The Asset Price Meltdown, Rising Leverage, and the Wealth of the Middle Class," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 333-342.
    17. Gunes Gokmen & Annaig Morin, 2019. "Inequality in the aftermath of financial crises: some empirical evidence," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(19), pages 1558-1562, November.
    18. Tim Callan & Brian Nolan & Claire Keane & Michael Savage & John Walsh, 2014. "Crisis, response and distributional impact: the case of Ireland," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    19. Michael Kumhof & Romain Rancière & Pablo Winant, 2015. "Inequality, Leverage, and Crises," Post-Print halshs-01511070, HAL.
    20. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    21. Kirschenmann, Karolin & Malinen, Tuomas & Nyberg, Henri, 2016. "The risk of financial crises: Is there a role for income inequality?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 161-180.
    22. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2010. "Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9111.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Cong Minh Huynh & Nam Hoai Tran, 2023. "Financial development, income inequality, and institutional quality: A multi-dimensional analysis," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 2242128-224, June.
    2. Chevaughn van der Westhuizen & Renee van Eyden & Goodness C. Aye, 2022. "Is Inflation Uncertainty a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? The Inflation-Inflation Uncertainty Nexus and Inflation Targeting in South Africa," Working Papers 202254, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    3. Cepni, Oguzhan & Emirmahmutoglu, Furkan & Guney, Ibrahim Ethem & Yilmaz, Muhammed Hasan, 2023. "Do the carry trades respond to geopolitical risks? Evidence from BRICS countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 47(2).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bodea, Cristina & Houle, Christian & Kim, Hyunwoo, 2021. "Do financial crises increase income inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    2. Filip Chybalski, 2022. "Intergenerational income distribution before and after the great recession: winners and losers," DECISION: Official Journal of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Springer;Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, vol. 49(3), pages 311-327, September.
    3. Georgescu, Oana-Maria & Martín, Diego Vila, 2021. "Do macroprudential measures increase inequality? Evidence from the euro area household survey," Working Paper Series 2567, European Central Bank.
    4. Pascal Paul, 2018. "Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises," 2018 Meeting Papers 583, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Pascal Paul, 2023. "Historical Patterns of Inequality and Productivity around Financial Crises," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 55(7), pages 1641-1665, October.
    6. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Héricourt & Samuel Ligonnière, 2017. "Structure of Income Inequality and Household Leverage: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 2017-01, CEPII research center.
    7. Bazillier, Rémi & Héricourt, Jérôme & Ligonnière, Samuel, 2021. "Structure of income inequality and household leverage: Cross-country causal evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    8. Thomas Fischer, 2017. "Can Redistribution by Means of a Progressive Labor Income-Taxation Transfer System Increase Financial Stability?," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 20(2), pages 1-3.
    9. Kim, Dong-Hyeon & Lin, Shu-Chin, 2023. "Income inequality, inflation and financial development," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 468-487.
    10. Jan Behringer & Sabine Stephan & Thomas Theobald, 2017. "Macroeconomic factors behind financial instability," IMK Working Paper 178-2017, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    11. Bellettini, Giorgio & Delbono, Flavio & Karlström, Peter & Pastorello, Sergio, 2019. "Income inequality and banking crises: Testing the level hypothesis directly," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    12. Thanh Cong Nguyen, 2022. "The effects of financial crisis on income inequality," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 40(6), November.
    13. van Netten, Jamie, 2023. "The relationship between inequality and bank credit in Australia," Warwick-Monash Economics Student Papers 54, Warwick Monash Economics Student Papers.
    14. Rym Ayadi & Sami B. Naceur & Sandra Challita, 2023. "Does income inequality really matter for credit booms?," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 52(1), February.
    15. Rémi Bazillier & Jérôme Hericourt, 2017. "The Circular Relationship Between Inequality, Leverage, And Financial Crises," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 463-496, April.
    16. Suzuki, Shiba, 2018. "Inequality and asset fire sales," MPRA Paper 90906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Kim, Hyoungjong & Rhee, Dong-Eun, 2022. "The effects of asset prices on income inequality: Redistribution policy does matter," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    18. El-Shagi, Makram & Fidrmuc, Jarko & Yamarik, Steven, 2020. "Inequality and credit growth in Russian regions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 550-558.
    19. Tuomas Malinen, 2016. "Does income inequality contribute to credit cycles?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(3), pages 309-325, September.
    20. Gu, Xinhua & Tam, Pui Sun & Lei, Chun Kwok, 2021. "The effects of inequality in the 1997–98 Asian crisis and the 2008–09 global tsunami: The case of five Asian economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).

    More about this item


    Financial stress; Inequality; Time-varying predictions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:57:y:2021:i:c:p:87-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.