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Social security, public education and the growth-inequality relationship

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  • Glomm, Gerhard
  • Kaganovich, Michael

Abstract

We study how the relationship between economic growth and inequality depends upon the levels of funding of two of the largest government programs, public education and social security. We do this in the context of an overlapping generations economy with heterogeneous agents where the government collects a tax on labor income to finance these programs. We show that in our model an increase in government spending on social security reduces income inequality and can have a non-monotonic effect on growth. When the initial level of social security funding is low, as is the case in most poor economies, then its increase will enhance growth. When its funding level is high as is typical for developed countries, we show that its further increase can slow down growth while reducing income inequality. These results obtain regardless of whether the increase in social security funding is financed by a tax increase or by cutting the public education budget. We also find that the effects of increasing the level of public education expenditures or the overall size of the government budget (holding the budget composition fixed) are characterized by similar non-monotonic growth-inequality relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Glomm, Gerhard & Kaganovich, Michael, 2008. "Social security, public education and the growth-inequality relationship," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1009-1034, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:6:p:1009-1034
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2013. "A Synthesis Of The Uzawa-Lucas Model With The Walrasian-General-Equilibrium And Neoclassical-Growth Theories," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 58(199), pages 7-38, October -.
    2. Tetsuo Ono & Yuki Uchida, 2016. "Human Capital, Public Debt, and Economic Growth: A Political Economy Analysis," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-01-Rev.3, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Oct 2017.
    3. Vogel, Edgar & Ludwig, Alexander & Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2017. "Aging and pension reform: extending the retirement age and human capital formation," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 81-107, January.
    4. Gilles Le Garrec, 2015. "Increased longevity and social security reform: questioning the optimality of individual accounts when education matters," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 329-352, April.
    5. Ono, Tetsuo & Uchida, Yuki, 2016. "Pensions, education, and growth: A positive analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 127-143.
    6. Tatsuya Omori, 2009. "Effects of public education and social security on fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 585-601, July.
    7. Tetsuo Ono & Yuki Uchida, 2018. "Capital Income Taxation, Economic Growth, and the Politics of Public Education," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 18-05, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    8. Chetan Ghate & Gerhard Glomm & John T. Stone, 2014. "Public and private expenditures on human capital: Accumulation in India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 14-04, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    9. repec:mea:meawpa:12257 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kitaura, Koji & Ogawa, Hikaru & Yakita, Sayaka, 2011. "Multiple equilibria arising from donor’s aid policy in economic development," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 819-827.
    11. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2013. "Income and Wealth Distribution with Physical and Human Capital Accumulation: Extending the Uzawa-Lucas Model to a Heterogeneous Households Economy," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 50(2), pages 257-287, November.
    12. Bandyopadhyay, Debasis & Tang, Xueli, 2011. "Understanding the economic dynamics behind growth-inequality relationships," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 14-32, March.
    13. Fanti, Luciano & Gori, Luca, 2011. "Child policy ineffectiveness in an overlapping generations small open economy with human capital accumulation and public education," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 404-409, January.
    14. Michael Kaganovich & Volker Meier, 2012. "Social Security Systems, Human Capital, and Growth in a Small Open Economy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(4), pages 573-600, August.
    15. Bishnu, Monisankar & Wang, Min, 2017. "The political intergenerational welfare state," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 93-110.
    16. Jalil, Abdul, 2012. "Modeling income inequality and openness in the framework of Kuznets curve: New evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 309-315.
    17. Joël Hellier & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Inequality, growth and welfare: The main links," Working Papers 258, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    18. Akira Yakita, 2010. "Human capital accumulation, fertility and economic development," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 97-116, March.
    19. Khalid Zaman & Bashir Khilji, 2014. "A note on pro-poor social expenditures," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 2121-2154, July.
    20. Alessandra Casarico & Luca Micheletto & Alessandro Sommacal, 2015. "Intergenerational transmission of skills during childhood and optimal public policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 353-372, April.
    21. Alessandra Casarico & Alessandro Sommacal, 2012. "Labor Income Taxation, Human Capital, and Growth: The Role of Childcare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1182-1207, December.
    22. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1465-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Viegas, Miguel & Ribeiro, Ana Paula, 2013. "Welfare-improving government behavior and inequality in a heterogeneous agents model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 146-160.
    24. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:270-287 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Monisankar Bishnu & Min Wang, 2013. "The Political intergenerational welfare state: A Unified framework," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 13-08, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.

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