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Finance, Technology and Inequality in Economic Development

By Ryo Horii, Ryoji Ohdoi and Kazuhiro Yamamoto

Abstract

This paper presents an overlapping generations model with technology choice and credit market imperfections, in order to investigate a possible source of underdevelopment. The model shows that a better financial infrastructure that provides stronger enforcement of contracts facilitates the development of financial markets, which, in turn, enables firms to switch to more productive and capital-intensive technologies, thereby promoting economic development. In the presence of credit rationing, however, this technological switch widens inequality. Therefore, risk-averse agents would not be willing to improve the financial infrastructure to the level at which the technological switch occurs, resulting in a development trap. A remedy is to facilitate small firms' adoption of the currently used technology rather than the new one.Enforcement; Technological Switch; Income Distribution; Credit Rationing; Institutions.

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