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Inequality and Growth in a Knowledge Economy

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  • Kunal Dasgupta

Abstract

We develop a two sector growth model to understand the relation between inequality and growth. Agents, who are endowed with different levels of knowledge, select either into a retail or a manufacturing sector. Agents in the manufacturing sector match to carry out production. A by-product of production is creation of ideas that spill over to the retail sector and improve productivity, thereby causing growth. Ideas are generated according to an idea production function that takes the knowledge of all the agents in a firm as arguments. We go on to study how an increase in the inequality of the knowledge distribution affects the growth rate. A change in the distribution not only affects the occupational choice of agents, but also the way agents match within the manufacturing sector. We show that if the idea generation function is sufficiently convex, an increase in inequality raises the growth rate of the economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-411.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-411

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Keywords: Inequality; growth; idea generation; matching; knowledge;

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  1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Isaac Ehrlich & Francis T. Lui, 1999. "Bureaucratic Corruption and Endogenous Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S270-S293, December.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Kunal Dasgupta, 2009. "Learning, Knowledge Diffusion and the Gains from Globalization," Working Papers tecipa-364, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  5. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
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