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Financial frictions, informality and income inequality

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  • Merlin, Giovanni Tondin
  • Teles, Vladimir Kuhl

Abstract

We studied the effects of changes in banking spreads on distributions of income, wealth and consumption as well as the welfare of the economy. This analysis was based on a model of heterogeneous agents with incomplete markets and occupational choice, in which the informality of firms and workers is a relevant transmission channel. The main finding is that reductions in spreads for firms increase the proportion of entrepreneurs and formal workers in the economy, thereby decreasing the size of the informal sector. The effects on inequality, however, are ambiguous and depend on wage dynamics and government transfers. Reductions in spreads for individuals lead to a reduction in inequality indicators at the expense of consumption and aggregate welfare. By calibrating the model to Brazil for the 2003-2012 period, it is possible to find results in line with the recent drop in informality and the wage gap between formal and informal workers

Suggested Citation

  • Merlin, Giovanni Tondin & Teles, Vladimir Kuhl, 2014. "Financial frictions, informality and income inequality," Textos para discussão 374, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:fgv:eesptd:374
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Antunes, António & Cavalcanti, Tiago & Villamil, Anne, 2008. "Computing general equilibrium models with occupational choice and financial frictions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(7-8), pages 553-568, July.
    2. António Antunes & Tiago Cavalcanti & Anne Villamil, 2015. "The effects of credit subsidies on development," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 58(1), pages 1-30, January.
    3. António Antunes & Tiago Cavalcanti & Anne Villamil, 2013. "Costly Intermediation And Consumption Smoothing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 459-472, January.
    4. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    5. Antunes, António & Cavalcanti, Tiago & Villamil, Anne, 2008. "The effect of financial repression and enforcement on entrepreneurship and economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 278-297, March.
    6. Antunes, Antonio R. & Cavalcanti, Tiago V. de V., 2007. "Start up costs, limited enforcement, and the hidden economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 203-224, January.
    7. Amaral, Pedro S. & Quintin, Erwan, 2006. "A competitive model of the informal sector," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1541-1553, October.
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