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Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality

  • Li, Hongyi
  • Squire, Lyn
  • Zou, Heng-fu

This paper explores the propositions that income inequality is relatively stable within countries and that it varies significantly among countries. A new and expanded data set provides broad support for both propositions. Drawing on political economy and capital market imperfection arguments to explain the intertemporal and international variation in inequality, the empirical analysis shows that the predicted variables associated with the first argument (a measure of civil liberties and the initial level of secondary schooling) and the second argument (a measure of financial depth and the initial distribution of land) are indeed important determinants of inequality.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 108 (1998)
Issue (Month): 446 (January)
Pages: 26-43

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:108:y:1998:i:446:p:26-43
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  1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
  3. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1989. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Discussion Papers 877, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Datt, Gaurav, 1998. "Computational tools for poverty measurement and analysis," FCND discussion papers 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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