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Revealed (or Imposed) Social Preferences for Equality and Growth

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  • David Kiefer
  • Shahrukh Rafi Khan

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    Abstract

    Using the Kuznets' inverted-U-shaped association as a structural constraint, we model the social tradeoff between changing inequality and changing income. Observed outcomes are thought of as attempts to find a constrained political-economic optimum. This model implies estimates of the parameters of a social welfare function. Our results suggest that the world is becoming an anti-egalitarian place. An extension of the model links this finding to religious heritage, exchange rate instability, and, surprisingly, to increased gender equality.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Utah, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah with number 2003_01.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Income Distribution, March 2008, 17(1), pp.21-33.
    Handle: RePEc:uta:papers:2003_01

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    Web page: http://economics.utah.edu
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    Keywords: Growth; Inequalit; Social Welfare;

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    References

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    1. Jha, Sailesh K., 1996. "The Kuznets curve: A reassessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 773-780, April.
    2. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Saith, Ashwani, 1983. "Development and distribution : A critique of the cross-country U-hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 367-382, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    8. John Thornton, 2001. "The Kuznets inverted-U hypothesis: panel data evidence from 96 countries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 15-16.
    9. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
    10. Cline, William R., 1975. "Distribution and development : A survey of literature," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 359-400, November.
    11. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
    12. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    13. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
    14. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
    15. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    16. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "The Kuznets process and the inequality--development relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 25-52, February.
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