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Income inequality, financial development, and macroeconomic fluctuations

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  • Murat F. Iyigun
  • Ann L. Owen

Abstract

We examine the relationship between income inequality and variability in aggregate consumption growth. In high-income countries, greater income inequality appears to be associated with more volatility in consumption growth, whereas in lower-income countries, higher levels of income inequality tend to be associated with less volatility. We present evidence that variability in real GDP growth is also related to income inequality in the same way. Our results suggest that the level of financial development may help to explain why the distribution of income affects the short-run variability of consumption and output differently in high-income countries than in low-income countries. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Murat F. Iyigun & Ann L. Owen, 2004. "Income inequality, financial development, and macroeconomic fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 352-376, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:495:p:352-376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    2. 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.
    3. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muhammad Shahbaz & Nanthakumar Loganathan & Aviral Tiwari & Reza Sherafatian-Jahromi, 2015. "Financial Development and Income Inequality: Is There Any Financial Kuznets Curve in Iran?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 357-382, November.
    2. Ana Hidalgo & Amparo Castelló-Climent, 2010. "Quality and Quantity of Education in the Process of Development," 2010 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Huang, Ho-Chuan (River) & Fang, WenShwo & Miller, Stephen M. & Yeh, Chih-Chuan, 2015. "The effect of growth volatility on income inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 212-222.
    4. Amparo Castelló-Climent, 2010. "Channels through Which Human Capital Inequality Influences Economic Growth," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 394-450.
    5. Makhlouf, Yousef & Kellard, Neil M. & Vinogradov, Dmitri, 2017. "Child mortality, commodity price volatility and the resource curse," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 144-156.
    6. Muhammad Tariq Majeed & Ronald MacDonald, 2010. "Distributional and Poverty Consequences of Globalization: A Dynamic Comparative Analysis for Developing Countries," Working Papers 2010_22, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    7. Castelló-Climent, Amparo & Hidalgo-Cabrillana, Ana, 2012. "The role of educational quality and quantity in the process of economic development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 391-409.
    8. Soares, Rodrigo R. & Assunção, Juliano J. & Goulart, Tomás F., 2012. "A note on slavery and the roots of inequality," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 565-580.
    9. Klomp, Jeroen & de Haan, Jakob, 2009. "Political institutions and economic volatility," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 311-326, September.

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