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Inequality and Growth: Some Welfare Calculations

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  • Cordoba, Juan Carlos
  • Verdier, Genevieve

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

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 32119.

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Date of creation: 16 Nov 2010
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, June 2008, vol. 32 no. 6, pp. 1812-1829
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:32119

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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References

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  1. Thomas Tallarini, . "Risk-Sensitive Real Business Cycles," GSIA Working Papers 1997-35, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  2. 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.
  3. Gadi Barlevy, 2005. "The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-49.
  4. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," GSIA Working Papers 243, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The Disturbing "Rise" of Global Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Durlauf,S.N. & Quah,D.T., 1998. "The new empirics of economic growth," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Aaberge, Rolf, et al, 2002. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 443-69, December.
  9. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
  10. 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.
  11. Robert E. Hall, 1981. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1995. "The equity premium: it's still a puzzle," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Krueger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Does income inequality lead to consumption inequality? Evidence and theory," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  14. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  15. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Krüger, Dirk & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2004. "The Industrial Revolution: past and future," Annual Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue May, pages 5-20.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  19. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Geneviève Verdier, 2007. "Lucas vs. Lucas," IMF Working Papers 07/17, International Monetary Fund.
  20. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Cordoba, Juan Carlos, 2012. "Children and the Wealth of Nations," Staff General Research Papers 34989, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Giacomo Corneo, 2011. "GINI DP 17: Income Inequality, Value Systems and Macroeconomic Performance," GINI Discussion Papers 17, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  4. repec:aia:ginidp:dp17 is not listed on IDEAS

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