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Inequality and Aggregate Savings in the Neoclassical Growth Model

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  • Reto Foellmi

Abstract

Within the context of the neoclassical growth model I investigate the implications of (initial) endowment inequality when the rich have a higher marginal savings rate than the poor. More unequal societies grow faster in the transition process, and therefore exhibit a higher speed of convergence. Furthermore, there is divergence in consumption and lifetime wealth if the rich exhibit a higher intertemporal elasticity of substitution. Unlike the Solow-Stiglitz model, the steady state is always unique although the consumption function is concave.

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Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp1011.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp1011

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Keywords: Marginal propensity to consume; income distribution; growth; concave consumption funktion;

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  1. Caselli, F. & Ventura, J., 1996. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," Working papers 96-11, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1984. "Optimal growth with many consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 139-171, February.
  3. 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.
  4. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-75, November.
  5. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000. "Do the rich save more?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 2004. "Savings and Income Distribution," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 5(2), pages 245-270, November.
  7. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  8. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-97, July.
  9. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1975. "A Neoclassical Theory of Wealth Distribution," Munich Reprints in Economics 3386, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "Does income inequality raise aggregate saving?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 417-446, April.
  13. Bliss, Christopher, 2004. "Koopmans recursive preferences and income convergence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 124-139, July.
  14. 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.
  15. Smith, Douglas, 2001. "International evidence on how income inequality and credit market imperfections affect private saving rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 103-127, February.
  16. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
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