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Inequality and growth: Some welfare calculations

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  • Córdoba, Juan Carlos
  • Verdier, Geneviève

Abstract

The main lotteries individuals face during their lifetime are country and family of birth. How much consumption growth would a newborn sacrifice to avoid these lotteries? We find that he may be willing to sacrifice a large fraction, if not all, to avoid them. Critical elements for the results are time discounting and risk aversion. Both reduce the effect of growth on welfare while risk aversion increases the benefits of more equal outcomes. Another key factor is the staggering size of risk at birth. Our calculations suggest a research agenda that treats growth and inequality as priorities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 1812-1829

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:32:y:2008:i:6:p:1812-1829

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
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  13. Stephane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2003. "On the Welfare Cost of Economic Fluctuations in Developing Countries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 677-698, 05.
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  16. Biewen, Martin, 2000. "Income Inequality in Germany during the 1980s and 1990s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, March.
  17. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Geneviève Verdier, 2007. "Lucas vs. Lucas," IMF Working Papers 07/17, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Krüger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giacomo Corneo, 2011. "GINI DP 17: Income Inequality, Value Systems and Macroeconomic Performance," GINI Discussion Papers 17, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  2. Juan Cordoba, 2012. "Children and the Wealth of Nations," 2012 Meeting Papers 1052, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. repec:aia:ginidp:dp17 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Cordoba, Juan-Carlos, 2008. "U.S. inequality: Debt constraints or incomplete asset markets?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 350-364, March.

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