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Finance and inequality : theory and evidence
 
Author:Demirguc-Kunt, Asli; Levine, Ross; Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 4967
Country:World; Date Stored:2009/06/18
Document Date:2009/06/01Document Type:Policy Research Working Paper
SubTopics:Access to Finance; Economic Theory & Research; Debt Markets; ; InequalityLanguage:English
Major Sector:FinanceRel. Proj ID:1W-Program Research Proposal In Finance -- -- P107616;
Region:The World RegionReport Number:WPS4967
Sub Sectors:General finance sectorVolume No:1 of 1

Summary: This paper critically reviews the literature on finance and inequality, highlighting substantive gaps in the literature. Finance plays a crucial role in most theories of persistent inequality. Unsurprisingly, therefore, economic theory provides a rich set of predictions concerning both the impact of finance on inequality and about the relevant mechanisms. Although subject to ample qualifications, the bulk of empirical research suggests that improvements in financial contracts, markets, and intermediaries expand economic opportunities and reduce inequality. Yet, there is a shortage of theoretical and empirical research on the potentially enormous impact of formal financial sector policies, such as bank regulations and securities law, on persistent inequality. Furthermore, there is no conceptual framework for considering the joint and endogenous evolution of finance, inequality, and economic growth.

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