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Financial Market Globalization, Symmetry-Breaking, and Endogenous Inequality of Nations

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  • Kiminori Matsuyama

    (Department of Economics, Northwestern University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of financial market globalization on the inequality of nations. The world economy consists of inherently identical countries, which could differ only in their levels of capital stock. Each country is represented by the standard overlapping generations model, modified only to incorporate credit market imperfection. An integration of financial markets affects the set of stable steady states, as it changes the balance between the equalizing force of the diminishing returns technology and the unequalizing force of the wealth-dependent borrowing constraint. The model is simple and tractable enough to allow for a complete characterization of the stable steady states. In the absence of the international financial market, the world economy has a unique stable steady state, which is symmetric. When the international financial market is introduced, symmetry-breaking occurs under some conditions. That is to say, the symmetric steady state loses its stability and stable asymmetric steady states come to exist. In the stable asymmetric steady states, the world economy is endogenously divided into the rich and poor countries; the borrowing constraints are binding in the poor countries but not in the rich countries; the world output is smaller, the rich are richer and the poor are poorer in any of the stable asymmetric steady states than in the (unstable) symmetric steady state.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "Financial Market Globalization, Symmetry-Breaking, and Endogenous Inequality of Nations," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-186, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2002cf186
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