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Is Income Inequality Endogenous in Regional Growth?

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Author Info

  • Yohannes Hailu

    (Land Policy Institute, Michigan State University)

  • Mulugeta Kahsai

    ()
    (Department of Technology, Virginia State University)

  • Tesfa Gebremedhin

    ()
    (Division of Resource Management, West Virginia University)

  • Randall Jackson

    ()
    (Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University)

Abstract

This study focuses on testing the relationship between income inequality and growth within U.S. counties, and the channels through which such effects are observed. Based on a system of equations estimation, the empirical results confirm the hypotheses that income inequality has a growth dampening effect; income inequality is endogenous to regional growth and growth adjustment; and the channels through which income inequality determines growth are regional growth adjustments, such as migration and regional adjustment in job and income growth. Results have numerous policy implications to the extent that: (1) that income inequality is endogenous, its equilibrium level can be internally determined within a regional growth process; (2) traditional income inequality mitigating policies have indirect effect on overall regional growth, they may have unintended indirect effects on income inequality; and (3) regional growth adjustment also equilibrates income inequality, such forces can be utilized as policy instruments to mitigate income inequality, and its growth dampening effects hence forth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 200901.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rri:wpaper:200901

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Web page: http://rri.wvu.edu/research/working-papers/
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Keywords: income inequality; growth; regional economics;

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  1. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  3. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  4. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 74, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. " Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-99, September.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  7. Rupasingha, Anil & Goetz, Stephan J. & Freshwater, David, 2006. "The production of social capital in US counties," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 83-101, February.
  8. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
  9. Mills, Edwin S. & Price, Richard, 1984. "Metropolitan suburbanization and central city problems," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-17, January.
  10. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
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