Makram El-Shagi, Jarko Fidrmuc, Steven Yamarik
CFDS Discussion Paper 2019/6
We test the Rajan hypothesis using data for 75 highly heterogeneous Russian regions between the Russian crisis and the introduction of international sanctions (2000-2012). Applying static as well as dynamic panel data models, we show that a rise in income inequality measured by regional Gini indices is significantly correlated with the growth of personal loans. Thus, the rising inequality in Russia is likely to have implications on financial staiblity and occurrence of banking crises. Moreover, the correlation of inequality and corporate loans indicates that inequality affects loans growth across more channels than those implied by the Rajan hypothesis.