Sustainable Heterogeneity: Inequality, Growth, and Social Welfare in a Heterogeneous Population
AbstractThis paper studies social welfare in a heterogeneous population under the criteria of efficiency and sustainable heterogeneity. As is well known, heterogeneity in time preference results in substantial inequality. This paper shows that, even if households have heterogeneous preferences, there is a balanced growth path on which all the optimality conditions of all heterogeneous households are equally and indefinitely satisfied, and heterogeneity is sustainable on this path. The existence of a unique sustainable path will shed new light on social welfare issues, but this path cannot necessarily be naturally obtained by relying only on markets. Sustainable heterogeneity is politically fragile and requires rational―not unconditional―sacrifice and altruism, and interventions by the authority are justified. Sustainable heterogeneity indicates that globalization should be accompanied by measures that support developing countries and that a GDP modified for measures of sustainable heterogeneity may more correctly measure people’s “happiness.” However, it also indicates that inequality is necessary for sustainability and a unique sustainable level of inequality exists.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22521.
Date of creation: 06 May 2010
Date of revision:
Sustainability; Heterogeneity; Inequality; Growth; Social welfare; Altruism; Globalization; International trade;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
- F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
- Ghiglino, Christian, 2002. "Introduction to a General Equilibrium Approach to Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 1-17, July.
- Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
- Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
- Romer, Paul M, 1986.
"Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
- Harashima, Taiji, 2009. "Depression as a Nash Equilibrium Consisting of Strategies of Choosing a Pareto Inefficient Transition Path," MPRA Paper 18953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Prescott, Edward C, 1998.
"Needed: A Theory of Total Factor Productivity,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 525-51, August.
- Sarah Voitchovsky, 2005. "Does the Profile of Income Inequality Matter for Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 273-296, 09.
- Luigi Ventura, 2003. "Direct Measures of Time Preference," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 34(3), pages 293â310.
- Pietro Peretto & Sjak Smulders, 2002.
"Technological Distance, Growth And Scale Effects,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 603-624, July.
- Becker, Robert A, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-82, September.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
- Farmer, Roger E A & Lahiri, Amartya, 2003.
"Recursive Preferences and Balanced Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3949, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Jones, Charles I, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525, May.
- Clarke, George R. G., 1995.
"More evidence on income distribution and growth,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
- Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
- Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999.
"Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
- Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Samwick, Andrew A., 1998.
"Discount rate heterogeneity and social security reform,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 117-146, October.
- Andrew A. Samwick, 1997. "Discount Rate Heterogeneity and Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 6219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harashima, Taiji, 2009. "A Theory of Total Factor Productivity and the Convergence Hypothesis: Workers’ Innovations as an Essential Element," MPRA Paper 15508, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Harashima, Taiji, 2012. "Sustainable Heterogeneity as the Unique Socially Optimal Allocation for Almost All Social Welfare Functions," MPRA Paper 40938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Harashima, Taiji, 2011. "A Mechanism of Inflation Differentials and Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area," MPRA Paper 28121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Harashima, Taiji, 2013. "Sustainable Heterogeneity in Exogenous Growth Models: The Socially Optimal Distribution by Government’s Intervention," MPRA Paper 51653, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.