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The Institutional Foundations of Inequality and Growth

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  • Lewis Davis
  • Mark Hopkins
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    Abstract

    After a decade of research, the effect of inequality on long-run economic growth remains unresolved, in part because researchers have treated omitted variable bias as an estimation problem rather than a deeper question of causality. In this article we argue that the key omitted variable is the quality of economic institutions. Using both cross-country and panel data specifications, we find no direct effect of inequality on growth in the long-run. Rather, the protection of property rights simultaneously raises growth rates and reduces income inequality. We interpret these findings as evidence that insecure property rights disproportionately disadvantage the poor.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220388.2010.527953
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 977-997

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:7:p:977-997

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    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/FJDS20

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    Cited by:
    1. Francesco Caracciolo & Fabio Santeramo, 2013. "Price Trends and Income Inequalities: Will Sub-Saharan Africa Reduce the Gap?," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 25(1), pages 42-54.
    2. Davis, Lewis S. & Knauss, Matthew, 2013. "The moral consequences of economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 43-50.

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