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The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing

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  • Piketty, Thomas

Abstract

With decreasing returns and first-best credit, the long-run interest rate and aggregate output are uniquely determined, and wealth dispersion among individuals or firms is irrelevant. Introducing credit rates and wealth distributions can exist because higher initial rates can be self-reinforcing through higher credit rationing and lower capital accumulation. The wealth accumulation process is ergodic in every steady state, but wealth mobility is lower with higher steady-state interest rates. Aggregate output is higher in steady states with lower interest rates because credit is better allocated. Short-run interest rate or distribution shocks can be self-sustaining and can have long run effects on output through the induced dynamics of the wealth distribution and credit rationing. Copyright 1997 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 64 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 173-89

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:64:y:1997:i:2:p:173-89

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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  3. Robert M. Solow, 1994. "Perspectives on Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 45-54, Winter.
  4. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-97, July.
  5. Jaffee, Dwight & Stiglitz, Joseph, 1990. "Credit rationing," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 837-888 Elsevier.
  6. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-75, November.
  7. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  8. Laitner, John, 1992. "Random earnings differences, lifetime liquidity constraints, and altruistic intergenerational transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 135-170, December.
  9. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Prescott, Edward C, 1992. "Stochastic Monotonicity and Stationary Distributions for Dynamic Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1387-406, November.
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