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Financial Systems in Developing Economies: Growth, Inequality and Policy Evaluation in Thailand

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This book evaluates the financial system of Thailand, a proto-typical developing economy. Specifically, the book evaluates the impact of financial institutions, markets, and policies on growth, inequality, poverty, and the welfare of households and businesses. A repeated theme is the description of the Thai economy as an integrated micro/macro, general equilibrium system, with the choices of diverse individual agents limited by obstacles to trade and aggregated up to explain macro variables. Various government program innovations, and plausibly exogenous variation in access to intermediation, have had non-trivial impact on households and businesses. More generally, enhanced finance is established to be correlated with, and causally related to, growth of GDP and poverty reduction, though with mixed consequences for the distribution of income. Quantification of the distribution of gains, losses, and macro impact of financial policy variation requires a specification of why markets, contracts, and institutions may appear to be incomplete in combination.

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