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The Distribution of Wealth and the Efficiency of Institutions

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  • Eaton, B Curtis
  • White, William D

Abstract

This paper explores the effect on economic efficiency of the distribution of wealth and systems for enforcing property rights. The authors construct a two-person, two-period economy in which each person can consume, plant, transfer, or steal corn. They find circumstances in which redistribution of wealth is Pareto optimal and in which increasing sanctions against theft to the maximum level is not. These results suggest that it is not only important to consider distribution in the design of property institutions, but also that redistribution itself may serve to increase the efficiency of systems of property rights. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 29 (1991)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 336-50

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:2:p:336-50

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Cited by:
  1. Arnold, Volker & Hübner, Marion, 2010. "Income redistribution and criminality in a growing economy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 338-344, December.
  2. Alexander Granberg & Victor Suslov & Larisa Melnikova, 1998. "Equilibrium, kernel, integration in the multiregional system under liberalization of external trade," ERSA conference papers ersa98p127, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Saha, Atanu & Poole, Graham, 2000. "The economics of crime and punishment: An analysis of optimal penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 191-196, August.
  4. Di Tella, Rafael & Dubra, Juan, 2006. "Crime and Punishment in the "American Dream"," MPRA Paper 500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Eaton, B.Curtis & Wen, Jean-François, 2008. "Myopic deterrence policies and the instability of equilibria," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 609-624, March.

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