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Institutions, financial crises and welfare

Nikoloski, Z.; (2011) Institutions, financial crises and welfare. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The aims of this thesis are threefold: (i) to investigate empirically the political and economic determinants of income inequality, paying particular attention to the role of institutions and institutional development; (ii) to determine the impact of macro-shocks (such as financial crises) on some of the most widely used human well-being indicators, such as poverty and mortality; (iii) to assess the importance of institutions and institutional change, investigating the impact of key aspects of institutional change in former communist countries (rapid privatization programmes) onto human well-being (mortality). Fulfilling these aims is important in its own right, but also from a policy point of view. In terms of income inequality, an enhanced understanding of its determinants, will help facilitate the adoption of policies aimed at reducing it. This is particularly important, since a reduction in income inequality could have positive spill-over effects on other human well-being indicators such as health or education. Finally, a deeper understanding of the impact of financial crises helps to facilitate immediate policy responses that might better shelter those that suffer the most during periods of macroeconomic shocks. The overall findings of the thesis support the notion that financial (and economic) crises carry negative consequences for the most vulnerable parts of society. Vis-à-vis the determinants of inequality, the thesis finds that economic determinants carry more weight than political ones (and some of the determinants, for example, financial sector development, have an inverted U-shaped relationship with inequality). Finally, the thesis finds no evidence in support of the claim that rapid privatization in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former USSR was associated with increases in mortality rates, further shedding light onto the social implications of the transition process.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Institutions, financial crises and welfare
Language:English
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES

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