In this paper, we modify the standard neoclassical model by incorporating financial intermediation in order to deliver returns consistent with the observation that capital primarily flows to middle income countries. We build a static contracting framework where costly intermediation together with an adverse selection problem have quantitatively important effects on capital flows. When intermediation costs are ignored, the model behaves like the neoclassical model in terms of capital returns. However, when intermediation costs are considered, returns to capital in middle income countries could exceed those in poor and rich countries high costs of intermediation cause poor countries to concentrate their investments in projects with low returns, while the standard neoclassical effect lowers returns in capital-rich countries. When we embed the return function from the static analysis in a two-country dynamic model, there is capital outflow from a poor country that removes capital controls and becomes open. Even though the closed economy dominates in terms of capital employed in production, it is the open economy that dominates in terms of income, consumption and welfare. (Copyright: Elsevier)
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