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Financial Intermediation and Occupational Choice in Development

This paper presents evidence that the spread between the marginal product of capital and the return on financial assets is much higher in poor than in rich countries. A model with costly intermediation is developed. In this economy, individuals choose at each instant whether to work or to operate a technology. Entrepreneurs finance their business with their own savings and, if necessary, by borrowing from banks. I find that in this framework intermediation costs are not equivalent to a tax on the return of capital. The equivalence fails because costly intermediation not only affects the capital accumulation decision but also the occupational choice decision. I show that intermediation costs have important effects on per capita output and average business size in the economy. I conclude that taxing financial intermediaries can be a very bad policy for development.

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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics in its series UWO Department of Economics Working Papers with number 20003.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:20003
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Reference Centre, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/department_working_papers.html

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
  2. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Financial Structure and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 895-911, December.
  3. King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance, entrepreneurship and growth: Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 513-542, December.
  4. Restuccia, Diego & Urrutia, Carlos, 2001. "Relative prices and investment rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 93-121, February.
  5. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  8. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  9. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  10. Greenwood, J. & Smith, B.D., 1995. "Financial Markets in Development, and the Development of Financial Markets," RCER Working Papers 406, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Atje, Raymond & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1993. "Stock markets and development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 632-640, April.
  13. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998. "Information Accumulation in Development," Seminar Papers 652, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  14. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  15. Chamley, Christophe, 1991. "Taxation of Financial Assets in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 513-33, September.
  16. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
  17. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
  18. Boyd, John H. & Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Financial intermediary-coalitions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 211-232, April.
  19. Chamley, Christophe, 1991. "Taxation of financial assets in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 651, The World Bank.
  20. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 961-991, October.
  21. Azariadis, Costas & Chakraborty, Shankha, 1999. "Agency Costs in Dynamic Economic Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 222-41, April.
  22. Stephen D. Williamson, 1984. "Costly Monitoring, Financial Intermediation, and Equilibrium Credit Rationing," Working Papers 583, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  23. Chamley, Christophe & Honohan, Patrick, 1990. "Taxation of financial intermediation : measurement principles and application to five African countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 421, The World Bank.
  24. Giovannini, Alberto & de Melo, Martha, 1993. "Government Revenue from Financial Repression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 953-63, September.
  25. Townsend, Robert M, 1978. "Intermediation with Costly Bilateral Exchange," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 417-25, October.
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