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Income Inequality and Economic Growth: A Simple Theoretical Synthesis

Author

Listed:
  • Been-Lon Chen

    (Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica)

  • Jang-Ting Guo

    (Department of Economics, University of California)

Abstract

We show that in an AK model of endogenous growth with CRRA specifications for both private and public consumption goods, income inequality exerts theoretically ambiguous effects on the optimal capital tax rate and the economy¡¯s growth rate. In a calibrated version of the model, we find that the parameter space can be clearly divided into regions that exhibit a positive or negative relationship between income inequality and economic growth. Hence, our analysis provides a theoretical synthesis on the relationship between inequality and growth and helps bring together some recent results in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Been-Lon Chen & Jang-Ting Guo, 2005. "Income Inequality and Economic Growth: A Simple Theoretical Synthesis," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 6(2), pages 319-329, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2005:v:6:i:2:p:319-329
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Cooley, Thomas F. & Hansen, Gary D., 1992. "Tax distortions in a neoclassical monetary economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 290-316, December.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    4. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-290, May.
    5. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-299, September.
    9. 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.
    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. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    12. Chen, Been-Lon, 2003. "An inverted-U relationship between inequality and long-run growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 205-212, February.
    13. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    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. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:465-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
    17. 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 318-334, October.
    18. 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.
    19. Savvides, Andreas & Stengos, Thanasis, 2000. "Income inequality and economic development: evidence from the threshold regression model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 207-212, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shu-Hua Chen, 2012. "On the Growth and Stability Effects of Habit Formation and Durability in Consumption," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 13(2), pages 283-298, November.
    2. Wang, Chan, 2012. "A very preliminary survey on growth and development," MPRA Paper 39037, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Economic growth; Optimal taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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