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Finance and Income Inequality

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2021
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


There is an extensive literature investigating the relationship between finance and inequality. Theoretically, the impact of financial development on income inequality is ambiguous (Claessens and Perotti, 2007; Demirgüç-Kunt and Levine, 2009), while on the empirical side, the numerous studies on the relationship between finance and inequality provide mixed findings (Demirgüç-Kunt and Levine, 2009; Denk and Cournède, 2015). In addition, while there are several empirical papers on the relationship between the two variables there is no work that explores the long-run effects of financial development on income inequality. Finally, there is a renewed interest on the topic following the recent financial crisis.

This research project aims to examine empirically the relationship between finance and income inequality. The first part of the project will be a systematic quantitative review of the empirical literature that aims to explore the dimensions of the observed heterogeneity of the empirical estimates. Additionally, the second part of the project will aim to investigate the long-run relationship between finance and income inequality. The empirical analysis on the second part will be conducted using data on a large sample of developed and developing countries by employing state-of-the-art panel data regression methods.


Beck, T., A. Demirgüç - Kunt and R. Levine (2007), Finance, Inequality and the Poor, Journal of Economic Growth, 12, 27–49.
Claessens, S. and E. Perotti (2007), Finance and Inequality: Channels and Evidence, Journal of Comparative Economics, 35, 748–773.

Clarke, G., L. C. Xu and H. Zou (2006), Finance and Income Inequality: What Do the Data Tell Us?, Southern Economic Journal, 72, 578–596.

De Haan, J. and J. E. Sturm (2017), Finance and Income Inequality: A Review and New Evidence, European Journal of Political Economy, 50, 171–195.

Demirgüç - Kunt, A. and R. Levine (2009), Finance and Inequality: Theory and Evidence, Annual Review of Financial Economics, 1, 287–318.

Denk, O. and B. Cournède (2015), Finance and Income Inequality in OECD Countries, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 1224, OECD.

Greenwood, J. and B. Jovanovic (1990), Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income, Journal of Political Economy, 98, 1076–1107.


Dr Dimitrios Bakas

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

For informal enquiries about this project, please contact: Dr Lisa Siebers or Dr Michael Ehret on (please put Dr Siebers' or Dr Ehret's name in the title line of your email).

Fees and funding

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Dimitrios Bakas