This paper provides compelling evidence that equity market liberalization, as the most efficient way to smooth financial market frictions such as credit constraints, can alleviate persistent cross-dynastic income inequality by promoting increased human capital accumulation. The authors examine the effect of equity market liberalization on inequality by using data from 72 countries for 1980-2006. Their measured effect is robust to alternative measures of equity market liberalization. Finally, the authors show that foreign equity flows benefit initially less-active stock markets more than the active ones, providing evidence that foreign equity flows act as a substitute for domestic financial markets. This finding emphasizes the possibility of reducing inequality and poverty through equity market liberalization.
income inequality equity market liberalization human capital economic growth