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Financial Development and Inequality: Brazil 1985-99

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  • Manoel F. Meyer Bittencourt

Abstract

We examine the impact that financial development had on earnings inequality in Brazil in the 1980’s and 90’s. The empirical evidence, based on panel time series and time series data, shows that more broad access to financial and credit markets had a significant and robust effect in reducing inequality during the period investigated. We suggest that this is not only because the poor can invest the acquired credit in all sorts of productive activities, but also because those with access to financial markets can insulate themselves against recurrent poor macroeconomic performance, which is exemplified by extreme inflation rates. The main implication of the results is that a seemingly non-distortionary policy, such as more credit aimed at the poor, alleviates the high inequality present in Brazil and consequently improves welfare without distorting economic efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Manoel F. Meyer Bittencourt, 2006. "Financial Development and Inequality: Brazil 1985-99," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_055, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_055
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2011. "Inflation and financial development: Evidence from Brazil," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 91-99.
    2. Siong Hook Law & Hui Boon Tan, 2009. "The Role Of Financial Development On Income Inequality In Malaysia," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 153-168, December.
    3. Zhuang, Juzhong & Gunatilake, Herath & Niimi, Yoko & Ehsan Khan, Muhammad & Jiang, Yi & Hasan, Rana & Khor, Niny & S. Lagman-Martin, Anneli & Bracey, Pamela & Huang, Biao, 2009. "Financial Sector Development, Economic Growth, and Poverty Reduction: A Literature Review," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 173, Asian Development Bank.
    4. Muhammad Shahbaz & Faridul Islam, 2011. "Financial Development And Income Inequality In Pakistan: An Application Of Ardl Approach," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 35-58, March.
    5. Ziv Chinzara & Radhika Lahiri, 2012. "Economic growth and inequality patterns in the presence of costly technology adoption and uncertainty," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 280, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    6. Santos ALIMI, 2014. "Inflation and Financial Sector Performance: the Case of Nigeria," Timisoara Journal of Economics and Business, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 7(1), pages 55-69.
    7. Monal Abdel-Baki, 2011. "The efficacy of the Egyptian bank reform plan in mitigating the impact of the global financial crisis," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 221-241, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial development and markets; credit; inequality and welfare; inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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