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Policy Reform and Income Distribution

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  • Giovanni Andrea Cornia

Abstract

The paper analyses the relationship between within-country income inequality and policies of domestic liberalization and external globalization. The models used to provide the rationale for such reforms—such as the Hecksher-Ohlin model—usually predict a decline in inequality. However, the evidence shows that inequality often rose with the introduction of such reforms. The paper tries to explain this discrepancy by identifying the conditions under which the models’ conclusions do not hold. Indeed, such models are based on a simplified view of reality and restrictive assumptions, and their predictions do not necessarily hold in conditions of institutional weakness, structural rigidities, inefficient markets, asymmetric information and persistent protectionism.

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File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2005/wp3_2005.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs in its series Working Papers with number 3.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:3

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Web page: http://www.un.org/esa
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Related research

Keywords: trends in income inequality; factor income distribution; policy reform; structural adjustment; globalization;

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References

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  1. Ke-young Chu & Hamid Reza Davoodi & Sanjeev Gupta, 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/62, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
  3. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Jed Friedman, 1999. "Impacts of the Indonesian Economic Crisis: Price Changes and the Poor," NBER Working Papers 7194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Chu, K.-y. & Davoodi, H. & Gupta, S., 2000. "Income Distribution and Tax, and Government Social Spending Policies in Developing Countries," Research Paper 214, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  5. Atkinson, A.B., 2000. "Increased Income Inequality in OECD Countries and the Redistributive Impact of the Government Budget," Research Paper 202, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  6. Taylor, L., 2000. "External Liberalization, Economic Performance, and Distribution in Latin America and Elsewhere," Research Paper 215, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  7. François Bourguignon & Christian Morrisson, 2002. "Inequality Among World Citizens: 1820-1992," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 727-744, September.
  8. Savvides, Andreas, 1998. "Trade policy and income inequality: new evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 365-372, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Juan Carlos Gómez-Sabaini & Bruno Martorano, 2012. "A New Fiscal Pact, Tax Policy Changes and Income Inequality," Working Papers - Economics wp2012_03.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  2. Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Global Inequality: Beyond the Bottom Billion – A Rapid Review of Income Distribution in 141 Countries," Working papers 1105, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.

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