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Finance and economic opportunity

  • Demirguc-Kunt, Asli
  • Levine, Ross

An influential body of theoretical research and an emerging line of empirical work suggest that the operation of the formal financial system affects the degree to which economic opportunities are defined bytalent and initiative rather than by parental wealth and social connections. This paper discusses the theory of how financial markets influence economic opportunity and reviews recent empirical work on the relation between formal financial systems and poverty, income inequality, and economic opportunity. The authors consider recent efforts to measure the ability of households and small enterprises to access financial services, the impact of this access, and the mechanisms through which finance affects poverty and inequality. The authors argue that considerably more research is needed to identify which formal financial sector policies enhance the operation of the financial system in ways that expand the economic horizons of the economically disenfranchised.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4468.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4468
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  1. Bardhan, Pranab & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Wealth inequality, wealth constraints and economic performance," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 541-603 Elsevier.
  2. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1967. "Distribution of Income and Wealth Among Individuals," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 238, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2007. "Reaching out: Access to and use of banking services across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 234-266, July.
  4. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance, firm size, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3485, The World Bank.
  7. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Thorsten Beck & Ross Levine & Alexey Levkov, 2007. "Big Bad Banks? The Impact of U.S. Branch Deregulation on Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 13299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ross Levine & Alexey Levkov & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Racial Discrimination and Competition," NBER Working Papers 14273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9002, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855761 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Honohan, Patrick, 2006. "Household Financial Assets in the Process of Development," Working Paper Series RP2006/91, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  13. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2002. "Financial and legal constraints to firm growth - Does size matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2784, The World Bank.
  14. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  17. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-75, November.
  18. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  19. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
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  21. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  22. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1329-1372, November.
  23. 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.
  24. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
  25. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2007. "Finance, inequality and the poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 27-49, March.
  26. Cull, Robert & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Morduch, Jonathan, 2006. "Financial performance and outreach : a global analysis of leading microbanks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3827, The World Bank.
  27. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
  28. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
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