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Financial Development and Income Inequality: A Panel Data Approach

  • Sebastian Jauch
  • Sebastian Watzka

We analyze the link between financial development and income inequality for a broad unbalanced dataset of up to 138 developed and developing countries over the years 1960 to 2008. Using credit-to-GDP as a measure of financial development, our results reject theoretical models predicting a negative impact of financial development on income inequality measured by the Gini coefficient. Controlling for country fixed effects and GDP per capita, we find that financial development has a positive effect on income inequality. These results are robust to different measures of financial development, econometric specifications, and control variables.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3687.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3687
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  1. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Global Inequality: Beyond the Bottom Billion – A Rapid Review of Income Distribution in 141 Countries," Working papers 1102, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
  3. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  4. Frederick Solt, 2009. "Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(2), pages 231-242.
  5. George Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2013. "Finance and Income Inequality: Test of Alternative Theories," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 493-510, November.
  6. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2009. "Finance and Inequality: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 15275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2010. "Financial Institutions and Markets across Countries and over Time: The Updated Financial Development and Structure Database," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 77-92, January.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  9. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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