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Equities and Inequality

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  • Alessandra Bonfiglioli

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between the development of stock markets and income inequality. It shows that introducing equity financing in an economy with safe and risky sectors, where debt is initially the only financial instrument and where market imperfections generate credit rationing in the risky sector, raises both income dispersion in general and income differentials between skill groups. While the latter increase with stock market capitalization, income dispersion rises until the equity market reaches a certain size, then it declines. Equities play the twofold role of allowing some credit rationed agents to finance risky enterprises, and providing insurance through risk sharing. The degree of investor protection ultimately determines the size of the equity market and the extent of risk-sharing. By increasing the number of risky projects, better investor protection widens income dispersion. On the other hand, by improving risk sharing, it tends to reduce inequality. This tension explains the inverted-U shaped relationship between income inequality and stock market development. Empirical evidence on a panel of fifty-two countries spanning the years 1976-2000 supports the predictions of the model

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Bonfiglioli, 2004. "Equities and Inequality," 2004 Meeting Papers 256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:256
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    2. Sudeshna Ghosh, 2020. "Impact of economic growth volatility on income inequality: ASEAN experience," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 807-850, June.
    3. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2011. "Inflation and financial development: Evidence from Brazil," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 91-99.
    4. Manoel Bittencourt, 2010. "Financial development and inequality: Brazil 1985–1994," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-130, May.
    5. Giuseppe Bertola, 2007. "Finance and Welfare States in Globalising Markets," RBA Annual Conference Volume (Discontinued), in: Christopher Kent & Jeremy Lawson (ed.),The Structure and Resilience of the Financial System, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    6. Madhu Sehrawat & A. K. Giri, 2016. "Financial development, poverty and rural-urban income inequality: evidence from South Asian countries," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 577-590, March.
    7. Abu N. M. Wahid & Muhammad Shahbaz & Pervaz Azim, 2011. "Inflation and Financial Sector Correlation: The Case of Bangladesh," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 1(4), pages 145-152.
    8. Madhu Sehrawat & A. Giri, 2016. "Financial development, poverty and rural-urban income inequality: evidence from South Asian countries," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 577-590, March.
    9. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Income Distribution; Financial Development; Dynamic Panel Data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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