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Distribution of wealth and incomplete markets: Theory and empirical evidence

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  • Fiaschi, Davide
  • Marsili, Matteo

Abstract

This paper analyses the equilibrium distribution of wealth in an economy where firms’ productivities are subject to idiosyncratic shocks, returns on factors are determined in competitive markets, households have linear consumption functions and government imposes taxes on capital and labour incomes and equally redistributes the collected resources to households. The equilibrium distribution of wealth is explicitly calculated and its shape crucially depends on market incompleteness. With incomplete markets it follows a Paretian law in the top tail and the Pareto exponent depends on the saving rate, on the net return on capital, on the growth rate of population, and on portfolio diversification. The characteristics of the labour market crucially affects the bottom tail, but not the upper tail of the distribution of wealth in the case of completely decentralized labour market. The analysis also suggests a positive relationship between growth and wealth inequality. The theoretical predictions find a corroboration in the empirical evidence of United States in the period 1989–2004.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 243-267

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:1:p:243-267

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

Related research

Keywords: Wealth distribution; Incomplete markets; Earnings distribution; Capital income taxation; Productivity shocks; Portfolio diversification; Nonparametric estimation;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2012. "Endogenous Lifetime in an Overlapping-Generations Small Open Economy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(2), pages 121-152, June.
  2. Davide Fiaschi & Matteo Marsili, 2009. "Economic interactions and the distribution of wealth," Papers 0906.1512, arXiv.org.
  3. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2009. "Endogenous fertility, endogenous lifetime and economic growth: the role of health and child policies," Discussion Papers 2009/91, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  4. Manuela Gussoni - Andrea Mangani, 2009. "The impact of public funding for innovation on firms' R&D investments: Do R&D cooperation and appropriability matter?," Discussion Papers 2009/90, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Fiaschi, Davide & Marsili, Matteo, 2012. "Distribution of wealth and incomplete markets: Theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 243-267.
  6. Thomas Piketty, 2011. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Inheritance: France 1820--2050," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1071-1131.
  7. Anand Banerjee & Victor M. Yakovenko, 2009. "Universal patterns of inequality," Papers 0912.4898, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2010.

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