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Creditor Rights, Inequality and Development in a Neoclassical Growth Model

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  • Benjamin Moll

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

I study the implications of the limited enforceability of credit contracts for inequality and economic growth. I introduce limited enforcement into a deterministic neoclassical growth model. Two types of agents differ in their initial wealth, ability and patience and each operate a private firm. The agents can borrow and lend to each other but face enforcement constraints. This results in capital being misallocated across agents. Three main conclusions are obtained from this model. First, capital misallocation disappears in the long run if agents are equally patient. In contrast, if agents' discount rates differ, capital misallocation persists asymptotically. Second, poor creditor rights magnify the effect of heterogeneity in ability on long run wealth inequality, because wealth accumulation functions as a substitute for poor creditor rights. Third, the interest rate is generally lower than in an economy without enforcement constraints.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 1168.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:1168

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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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Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Chang, Tai Hsieh & Peter, J- Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and manufacturing TFP in China and India," MPRA Paper 35084, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2007.
  2. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1981. "Stability of Equilibrium in Dynamic Models of Capital Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 275-93, June.
  3. Djankov, Simeon & McLiesh, Caralee & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Private credit in 129 countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 299-329, May.
  4. Robert M. Townsend & Kenichi Ueda, 2006. "Financial Deepening, Inequality, and Growth: A Model-Based Quantitative Evaluation -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 251-293.
  5. Yongseok Shin & Joe Kaboski & Francisco J. Buera, 2008. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," 2008 Meeting Papers 955, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Francisco J. Buera & Yongseok Shin, 2006. "Financial Frictions and the Persistence of History," 2006 Meeting Papers 792, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  8. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989. "Transitional Dynamics And Economic Growth In The Neoclassical Model," RCER Working Papers 206, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Timothy J Kehoe & David K Levine, 1993. "Debt Constrained Asset Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1276, David K. Levine.
  11. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-50, July.
  12. Piketty, Thomas, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 173-89, April.
  13. Spear, Stephen E & Srivastava, Sanjay, 1987. "On Repeated Moral Hazard with Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 599-617, October.
  14. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Benjamin Moll, 2010. "Why Does Misallocation Persist?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 189-206, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Leo Kaas & Costas Azariadis, 2009. "Capital misallocation and aggregate factor productivity," 2009 Meeting Papers 953, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Benjamin Moll, 2010. "Why Does Misallocation Persist?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 189-206, January.
  3. Thomas Mertens, 2012. "Solving General Incomplete Market Models with Substantial Heterogeneity," 2012 Meeting Papers 1173, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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