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Essays on Financial Markets and Macroeconomics

by Bonfiglioli, Alessandra

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis consists of three papers, which address different aspects of financial markets and institutions.Equities and Inequality studies the relationship between investor protection the development of financial markets and income inequality. In the presence of market frictions, investor protection promotes financial development by raising confidence and reducing the costs of external financing. Developed financial systems spread risks among financiers and firms, allocating them to the agents bearing them the best. Therefore, financial development plays the twofold role of encouraging agents to undertake risky enterprises and providing them with insurance. By increasing the number of risky projects, it raises income inequality. By extending insurance to more agents, it reduces it. As a result, the relationship between financial development and income inequality is hump-shaped. Empirical evidence from a cross-section of sixty-nine countries, as well as a panel of fifty-two countries over the period 1976-2000, supports the predictions of the model.How Does Financial Liberalization Affect Economic Growth? assesses the effects of international financial liberalization and banking crises on investments and productivity in a sample of 93 countries (at its largest) observed between 1975 and 1999. I provide empirical evidence that financial liberalization spurs productivity growth and marginally affects capital accumulation. Banking crises depress both investments and TFP. Both levels and growth rates of productivity respond to financial liberalization and banking crises. The paper also presents evidence of conditional convergence in productivity across countries. However, the speed of convergence is unaffected by financial liberalization. These results are robust to a number of econometric specifications.Explaining Co-movements Between Stock Markets: US and Germany explains co-movements between stock markets by explicitly considering the distinction between interdependence and contagion. It proposes and implements a full information approach on data for US and Germany to provide answers to the following questions: (i) is there long-term interdependence between US and German stock markets? (ii) Is there short-term interdependence and contagion between US and German stock markets, i.e. do short-term fluctuations of the US share prices spill over to German share prices and is such co-movement unstable over high volatility episodes? The answers are no to the former and yes to the latter.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; Economics

ISBN:91-7155-097-5

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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