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Income inequality and economic growth

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  • Shin, Inyong

Abstract

Despite the extensive existing literature on income inequality and economic growth, there remains considerable disagreement on the effect of inequality on economic growth. Existing literatures find either a positive or a negative relationship. In this paper, we attempt to theoretically examine that relationship with a stochastic optimal growth model. We make the disagreement clear within a single model. We conclude (i) that both are possible – that is, higher inequality can retard growth in the early stage of economic development, and can encourage growth in a near steady state, (ii) that income redistribution by high income tax does not always reduce income inequality. Income inequality can be reduced by higher income tax in a near steady state, but it cannot be reduced in the early stage of economic development, and (iii) that two government polices – rapid economic growth and low income inequality – can be achieved by low income tax in the early stage of economic development, but both cannot be achieved simultaneously in a near steady state.

Suggested Citation

  • Shin, Inyong, 2012. "Income inequality and economic growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 2049-2057.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:29:y:2012:i:5:p:2049-2057
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2012.02.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Policardo & Lionello F. Punzo & Edgar J. Sánchez Carrera, 2016. "Brazil and China: Two Routes of Economic Development?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 651-669, August.
    2. Ahmad, Mahyudin, 2016. "Middle income trap and income inequality: Empirical evidence on the distributional effect of economic liberalization and political regime," MPRA Paper 76437, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Sefa Awaworyi Churchill & Davidson Okai & Alberto Posso, 2016. "Internet Use and Ethnic Heterogeneity in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(1), pages 59-72, March.
    4. Jose Villaverde & Adolfo Maza & María Hierro, 2014. "The Effects of Interpersonal Fiscal Redistribution on Provincial Growth and Convergence in Spain," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 209(2), pages 151-170, June.
    5. repec:eee:ecmode:v:65:y:2017:i:c:p:119-128 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:cbu:jrnlec:y:2017:v:4:p:59-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yang, Yiwen & Greaney, Theresa M., 2017. "Economic growth and income inequality in the Asia-Pacific region: A comparative study of China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 6-22.
    8. Risso, W. Adrián & Punzo, Lionello F. & Carrera, Edgar J. Sánchez, 2013. "Economic growth and income distribution in Mexico: A cointegration exercise," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 708-714.
    9. repec:eee:joecas:v:12:y:2015:i:2:p:162-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mehmet Mercan & Ozlem Azer, 2013. "The Relationship between Economic Growth and Income Distribution in Turkey and the Turkish Republics of Central Asia and Caucasia: Dynamic Panel Data Analysis with Structural Breaks," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 3(2), pages 165-182, December.
    11. Domenico Rossignoli, 2015. "Too many and too much? Special-interest groups and inequality at the turn of the century," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 130(3), pages 337-366.
    12. Adnen Ben Nasr & Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta & Seyi Saint Akadiri, 2018. "Asymmetric Effects of Inequality on Per Capita Real GDP of the United States," Working Papers 201820, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    13. Amarante, Veronica, 2009. "Income Inequality and Economic Growth in Latin America," Economics PhD Theses 0109, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    14. Nabi, Mahmoud Sami, 2015. "Equity-financing, income inequality and capital accumulation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 322-333.
    15. Adnen Ben Nasr & Mehmet Balcilar & Seyi Saint Akadiri & Rangan Gupta, 2017. "Kuznets Curve for the US: A Reconsideration Using Cosummability," Working Papers 201763, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    16. Getachew, Yoseph Yilma, 2016. "Credit constraints, growth and inequality dynamics," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 364-376.
    17. Michel Dumont & Nikolina Stojanovska & Ludo Cuyvers, 2011. "World inequality, globalisation, technology and labour market institutions," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(3), pages 257-272, June.
    18. F Marchionne & S Parekh, 2015. "Growth, Debt, and Inequality," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 20(2), pages 67-94, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Economic growth; Progressive tax; Transition dynamics; Asset distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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