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The impact of Inequality on Economic Growth: Evidence for Mexico 1895-1994

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  • Gutiérrez-Romero, Roxana

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to explore the influences of initial inequality on the long run distribution of wealth. The paper presents two mathematical models that analyse the occupational choice of individuals in the presence of capital constraints and risk in entrepreneurial activities. The models show that inequality and particularly polarization hinder economic growth. The higher the initial level of polarization is, the lower the long run aggregate wealth of the economy and the higher the long run polarization will be. The models are calibrated using numerical simulations. The implications of the models are assessed empirically using data on economic growth, and income distribution in Mexico, during the period 1895-1994, as well as the "Doing Business" databases of the World Bank. Policy-wise it is found that a more egalitarian wealth distribution and less poverty can be achieved through wealth redistribution policies and by improving the business climate. This can be done by reducing the cost of setting-up firms (technology,bureaucratic and administrative costs), introducing labour-market reforms encouraging the hiring of those typically excluded such as the poor, improving the access to credit markets by reducing the costs of creating and/or registering collateral and broadening the credit bureau coverage. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 with number 11.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec07:6534

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  1. Steven Stern, 1997. "Simulation-Based Estimation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 2006-2039, December.
  2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
  4. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joseph Persky, 1992. "Retrospectives: Pareto's Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 181-192, Spring.
  6. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  8. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-34, December.
  9. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  10. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Nien-Huei Jiang, Neville, 2002. "A simple model of inequality, occupational choice, and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 205-226, October.
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