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Some new insights on financialization and income inequality: evidence for the US economy, 1947–2013

Marwil J. Dávila Fernández and Lionello F. Punzo
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Marwil Jhonatan Dávila-Fernández

International Review of Applied Economics, 2021, vol. 35, issue 3-4, 520-539

Abstract: In this article, we study the relationship between income distribution and financialization in the United States between 1947 and 2013. Financialization is introduced as a two-fold process. On the one hand, it implies an increase in the contribution of the financial sector in the composition of production. On the other hand, it is related to an increase in the importance of financial assets in terms of the composition of wealth. We take the share of financial employment as a proxy of the first dimension while, as to wealth composition, we make use of the share of financial assets on corporations’ total assets. Applying cointegration techniques, we identify a positive long-run relationship between financialization and income inequality. Causality goes from employment to income inequality and from the latter to wealth. Nonlinear estimators suggest the existence of certain asymmetric effects such that changes in income distribution cannot be reverted by simply reverting financialization.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/02692171.2020.1853684

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