The Poor, the Rich and the Enforcer: Institutional Choice and Growth
AbstractWe study economies where improving the quality of institutions -- modelled as improving contract enforcement -- requires resources, but enables trade that raises output by reducing the dispersion of marginal products of capital. We find that in this type of environment it is optimal to combine institutional building with endowment redistribution, and that more ex-ante dispersion in marginal products increases the incentives to invest in enforcement. In addition, we show that institutional investments lead over time to a progressive reduction in inequality. Finally, the framework we describe enables us to formalize the hypothesis formulated by Engerman and Sokoloff (2002) that the initial concentration of human and physical capital can explain the divergence of different countries' institutional history.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 281.
Date of creation: 2008
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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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Other versions of this item:
- Erwan Quintin & Thorsten Koeppl & Cyril Monnet, 2008. "The poor, the rich and the enforcer: institutional choice and growth," Working Papers 0801, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
- Thor Koeppl & Cyril Monnet & Erwan Quintin, 2007. "The Poor, the Rich and the Enforcer: Institutional Choice and Growth," Working Papers 1150, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
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