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The Dynamics of Wealth and Income Distribution in a Neoclassical Growth Model

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Abstract

We examine the evolution of the distributions of wealth and income in a Ramsey model in which agents differ in their initial capital endowment and where the labor supply is endogenous. The assumption that the utility function is homogeneous in consumption and leisure implies that the macroeconomic equilibrium is independent of the distribution of wealth and allows us to fully characterize income and wealth dynamics. We find non-degenerate longrun distributions of wealth and income. The model shows that (i) the initial level of aggregate capital is an essential determinant of whether inequality increases or decreases during the transition to the steady state; (ii) temporary shocks to the stock of capital have long-run effects on the distribution of wealth even if they do not affect the stationary aggregate variables; (iii) income inequality need not move together with wealth inequality if factor shares change during the transition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0604.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision: Jul 2006
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0604

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Keywords: Wealth Distribution; Income Distribution; Endogenous Labor Supply; Transitional Dynamics.;

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  1. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Stephen Turnovsky, 2006. "Growth and income inequality: a canonical model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 25-49, 05.
  2. Zabalza, Antoni, 1983. "The CES Utility Function, Non-Linear Budget Constraints and Labour Supply: Results on Female Participation and Hours," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 312-30, June.
  3. Ladron-de-Guevara, Antonio & Ortigueira, Salvador & Santos, Manuel S, 1999. "A Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Leisure," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 609-31, July.
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  5. Manuel Santos & Salvador Ortigueira, . "Equilibrium Dynamics in a Two-Sector Model with Taxes," Working Papers 2133332, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
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  9. Stephen Turnovsky, 1998. "Fiscal Policy, Elastic Labor Supply, and Endogenous Growth," Working Papers 0068, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  10. John Laitner & Dan Silverman, 2005. "Estimating Life—Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement”," Working Papers wp099, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  11. Ladron-de-Guevara, Antonio & Ortigueira, Salvador & Santos, Manuel S., 1997. "Equilibrium dynamics in two-sector models of endogenous growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 115-143, January.
  12. Becker, Robert A. & Foias, Ciprian, 1987. "A characterization of Ramsey equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 173-184, February.
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  14. Yann Algan & Arnaud Cheron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot, 2003. "Wealth Effect on Labor Market Transitions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 156-178, January.
  15. Caselli, F. & Ventura, J., 1996. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," Working papers 96-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  17. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
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  20. Sorger, Gerhard, 2002. "On the Long-Run Distribution of Capital in the Ramsey Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 226-243, July.
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  22. Ing-Haw Cheng & Eric French, 2000. "The effect of the run-up in the stock market on labor supply," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 48-65.
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Cited by:
  1. Klump, Rainer & Saam, Marianne, 2006. "Calibration of normalised CES production functions in dynamic models," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-78, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Nakamoto, Yasuhiro, 2009. "Convergence speed and preference externalities in a one-sector model with elastic labor supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 86-89, October.

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