Financial Globalization vs. Income Inequality: The Surprising Role of Delegated Portfolio Flows in Taming the Top 1%
54 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 2021
We document a surprising finding that foreign capital inflows delegated through global mutual funds reduce the income of the top 1%. To rationalize this observation, we utilize a comprehensive database of worldwide ownership of both private and public firms for 2001-2013, which allows us to trace income inequality to its micro-foundations of sales revenue accrued to rich families. We find that large delegated foreign inflows induce local rich families to sell concentrated yet profitable assets, consistent with a diversification channel for financial globalization to influence income inequality. Alternative mechanisms fail to explain these findings. Our results have important normative implications.
JEL Classification: D31, D63, G15, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation