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Inequality-Driven Growth: Unveiling Aggregation Effects in Growth Equations

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  • Pedro H. Albuquerque

    (Texas A&M International University)

Abstract

It is well known from nonlinear aggregation theory that distributions play a central role in the determination of aggregate relations. This paper establishes a bridge between the aggregation and the inequality and growth literature by applying a log-linear aggregation method to a simple heterogeneous AK growth model. The aggregation effect is explicitly captured in the growth equation by the changes of the mean logarithmic deviation (MLD or Theil’s second measure) of the income, implying that increases in income inequality may be unambiguously associated with temporary increases in a country’s growth rate, in agreement with the empirical findings of Forbes (AER, 2000). Consequently, empirical studies of the long-run effects of income inequality may suffer from aggregation bias if the temporary effects of the MLD changes are not considered. The accelerated growth episodes observed in Brazil and China demonstrate that the increase in income inequality may have resulted in substantial temporary increases in the aggregate growth rates experienced by those countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0511028.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 26 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0511028

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 22
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Inequality; Growth; Income Distribution; Aggregation; Heterogeneity; AK Model; Brazil; China;

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References

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  1. Lewbel, Arthur, 1992. "Aggregation with Log-Linear Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 635-42, July.
  2. van Garderen, Kees Jan & Lee, Kevin & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2000. "Cross-sectional aggregation of non-linear models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 285-331, April.
  3. Gibson, John & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2001. "Why is income inequality so low in China compared to other countries?: The effect of household survey methods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 329-333, June.
  4. repec:att:wimass:9428 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Xin Meng, 2004. "Economic Restructuring and Income Inequality in Urban China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(3), pages 357-379, 09.
  6. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. Pedro H. Albuquerque, 2003. "A practical log-linear aggregation method with examples: heterogeneous income growth in the USA," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(6), pages 665-678.
  8. Fishlow, Albert, 1972. "Brazilian Size Distribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 391-402, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Xu, Lixin Colin & Zou, Heng-fu, 2000. "Explaining the changes of income distribution in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 149-170, December.
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  12. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  13. Hirschman, Albert O & Rothschild, Michael, 1973. "The Changing Tolerance for Income Inequality in the Course of Economic Development; with a Mathematical Appendix," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 544-66, November.
  14. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  15. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1994. "The Sources of Growth," Macroeconomics 9411002, EconWPA, revised 05 Mar 1999.
  16. Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Does aggregation hide the harmful effects of inequality on growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-77, October.
  17. Fishlow, Albert, 1980. "Who Benefits from Economic Development? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 250-56, March.
  18. Fields, Gary S, 1980. "Who Benefits from Economic Development? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 257-62, March.
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