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The Effects of Financial Development on Income Inequality and Poverty

This paper examines the effects of financial development on income inequality and poverty. The results of both cross-country and panel data regressions suggest that inequality and poverty are reduced not only through enhanced loan markets, but also through more developed stock markets. We show that ethnic diversity and the distribution of land are significant and robust determinants of both income inequality and poverty. Finally, we find evidence that government spending leads to a reduction in income inequality in high income countries. In low income countries, however, we find no significant effect.

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Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 10/127.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:10-127
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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Badi H. Baltagi & Panicos O. Demetriades & Siong Hook Law, 2007. "Financial Development, Openness and Institutions: Evidence from Panel Data," WEF Working Papers 0022, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:717-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
  6. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance, Inequality, and Poverty: Cross-Country Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial development, growth, and poverty: how close are the links?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3203, The World Bank.
  9. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
  12. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  13. Easterly, William, 2000. "the middle class consensus and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2346, The World Bank.
  14. De Gregorio, Jose & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2002. "Education and Income Inequality: New Evidence from Cross-Country Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 395-416, September.
  15. Zhang, Lei, 2008. "Political economy of income distribution dynamics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 119-139, August.
  16. Atje, Raymond & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1993. "Stock markets and development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 632-640, April.
  17. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
  18. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Valerie R. Bencivenga & Bruce D. Smith, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209.
  20. Addington Coppin & Reed Neil Olsen, 1998. "Earnings and ethnicity in Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 116-134.
  21. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  22. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  23. 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.
  24. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  25. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  27. Nils Herger & Roland Hodler & Michael Lobsinger, 2007. "What determines Financial Development? Culture, Institutions, or Trade," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_033, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  28. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
  29. Lennart Erickson & Dietrich Vollrath, 2004. "Dimensions of Land Inequality and Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 04/158, International Monetary Fund.
  30. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  31. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2002. "Law and Finance: why Does Legal Origin Matter?," NBER Working Papers 9379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
  33. 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.
  34. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1243-1284 is not listed on IDEAS
  35. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
  36. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and growth : Schumpeter might be right," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1083, The World Bank.
  37. 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.
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