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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. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Benabou, R., 1996. "Inequality and Growth," Working Papers 96-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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, July.
  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. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Todd E. Clark, 1993. "Cross-country evidence on long run growth and inflation," Research Working Paper 93-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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