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Land Distribution and Financial System Development

  • Dietrich Vollrath
  • Lennart Erickson

Research on credit markets from developing economies, as well as work on the origin of institutions in general, has suggested that land inequality may play a role in determining financial development. In this paper we establish empirically that initial land inequality is a significant predictor of financial depth across countries, even while controlling for other predictors such as legal origin, ethnic fractionalization, and income inequality. To examine this relationship we have created a new measure of land distribution within countries that builds upon the work of Deininger and Squire (1998) by explicitly accounting for landlessness. In addition to being a significant predictor of financial development, land inequality is found to be uncorrelated with other fundamental characteristics of economies, suggesting its possible use in a wider range of research.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/83.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/83
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  1. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1996. "Stock markets, banks, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1690, The World Bank.
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  5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    • Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Norman Loayza, 1999. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 56, Central Bank of Chile.
  8. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1788, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Lennart Erickson & Dietrich Vollrath, 2004. "Dimensions of Land Inequality and Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 04/158, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 1998. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 13, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  13. Chakraborty, Shankha & Ray, Tridip, 2007. "The development and structure of financial systems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2920-2956, September.
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  19. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2003. "Land Inequality and the Origin of Divergence and Overtaking in the Growth Process: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  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. 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.
  23. Dietrich Vollrath, 2007. "Land Distribution and International Agricultural Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 202-216.
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  25. Otsuka, Keijiro, 1991. "Determinants and consequences of land reform implementation in the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 339-355, April.
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