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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. Barth,James R. & Caprio,Gerard & Levine,Ross, 2006. "Rethinking Bank Regulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521855761, November.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Levine, Ross, 1996. "Financial development and economic growth : views and agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1678, The World Bank.
  10. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2005. "Reaching out : access to and use of banking services across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3754, The World Bank.
  11. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Vojislav Maksimovic, 1998. "Law, Finance, and Firm Growth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2107-2137, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-82, June.
  14. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2008. "Finance, Firm Size, and Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1379-1405, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Ross Levine & Alexey Levkov & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Racial Discrimination and Competition," NBER Working Papers 14273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Levkov, Alexey, 2007. "Big bad banks ? the impact of U.S. branch deregulation on income distribution," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4330, The World Bank.
  18. 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.
  19. Ross Levine, 2004. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Robert Cull & Asli Demirguç-Kunt & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "Financial performance and outreach: a global analysis of leading microbanks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F107-F133, 02.
  23. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  24. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 237-264.
  25. 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.
  26. Honohan, Patrick, 2006. "Household financial assets in the process of development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3965, The World Bank.
  27. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
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