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Inflation, Growth, and Income Distribution: A Cross-Country Study

  • Hongyi Li

    (Department of Decision Sciences & Managerial Economics, Chinese University of Hong Kong)

  • Heng-fu Zou

    (Guanghua School of Management, Peking University
    Institute for Advanced Study, Wuhan University
    The World Bank)

This short paper uses a newly compiled cross-country panel data on income distribution to explore the impact of inflation on income distribution and economic growth. We have found that inflation (1) worsens income distribution; (2) increases the income share of the rich; (3) has a negative but insignificant effect on the income shares of the poor and the middle class; and (4) reduces the rate of economic growth.

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Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 3 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 85-101

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2002:v:3:i:1:p:85-101
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  1. Hongyi Li & Danyang Xie & Heng-Fu Zou, 2000. "Dynamics of income distribution," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 937-961, November.
  2. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  3. Driffill, John & Mizon, Grayham Ernest & Ulph, Alistair Mitchell, 1989. "Costs of Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 293, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    • Driffill, John & Mizon, Grayham E. & Ulph, Alistair, 1990. "Costs of inflation," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 1013-1066 Elsevier.
  4. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
  5. Stanley Fischer & Franco Modigliani, 1978. "Towards an understanding of the real effects and costs of inflation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 114(4), pages 810-833, December.
  6. Li, Hongyi & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 318-34, October.
  7. Clark, Todd E, 1997. "Cross-country Evidence on Long-Run Growth and Inflation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 70-81, January.
  8. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Laidler, David E W & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 85(340), pages 741-809, December.
  10. Rudiger Dornbusch & Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Reform, Recovery, and Growth: Latin America and the Middle East," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dorn95-1, May.
  11. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  13. Eliana Cardoso & Andre Urani & Andre Urani, 1995. "Inflation and Unemployment as Determinants of Inequality in Brazil: The 1980s," NBER Chapters, in: Reform, Recovery, and Growth: Latin America and the Middle East, pages 151-176 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bach, G L & Stephenson, James B, 1974. "Inflation and the Redistribution of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-13, February.
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