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Costly Intermediation and the Poverty of Nations

Author

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  • Shankha Chakraborty

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Amartya Lahiri

    () (University of California - Los Angeles Economics Department)

Abstract

Distortions in private investment due to credit frictions, and in public investment due to corruption and bureaucratic inefficiencies, have both been suggested as important factors in accounting for the cross-country per capita income distribution. We introduce two modifications to the standard one-sector neoclassical growth model to incorporate these distortions. The model is calibrated using data from 79 countries to examine the quantitative implication of these margins. We find that financial frictions account for less than 2% of the cross-country variation in relative income. Even accounting for mismeasurement, financial frictions can typically explain less than 5% of the income gap between the five richest and the five poorest countries in the world. Distortions in the public investment process, on the other hand, seem more promising. There is both more variation in the measured value of the public capital distortion and it can account for more than 25% of the income gap between the richest and poorest countries in our sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Shankha Chakraborty & Amartya Lahiri, 2003. "Costly Intermediation and the Poverty of Nations," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-1, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jan 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2003-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1875-1891, September.
    2. Germán Cubas, 2010. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences with Public Capital," Documentos de trabajo 2010014, Banco Central del Uruguay.
    3. Chakraborty Shankha & Dabla-Norris Era, 2011. "The Quality of Public Investment," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, August.
    4. Soete, Luc & Verspagen, Bart & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2017. "The productivity effect of public R&D in the Netherlands," MERIT Working Papers 021, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Hung-ju Chen & Hsiao-tang Hsu, 2005. "The Role Of Firm Size In Controlling Output Decline During The Asian Financial Crisis," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 103-129, December.
    6. Hallonsten, Jan Simon & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2016. "A semi-endogenous growth model for developing countries with public factors, imported capital goods, and limited export demand," MERIT Working Papers 004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative Income; Agency Costs; Credit Frictions; Public Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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