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Wealth inequality and dynamic stability

  • Ghiglino, Christian

In this paper we explore the link between wealth inequality and stability in a two-sector neoclassical growth model with heterogeneous agents. The stability of the steady state depends on the various parameters of the model and in particular on individual preferences. We show that when consumers have identical preferences and the inverse of absolute risk aversion (or risk tolerance) is a strictly convex function, inequality is a factor that favors instability. In the opposite case, inequality favors stability. Our characterization also shows that whenever absolute risk tolerance is linear, as when preferences exhibit hyperbolic absolute risk aversion (HARA), wealth heterogeneity is neutral. As there is not yet evidence on the concavity of absolute risk tolerance, our results unfortunately do not lead to a unique conclusion on the sign of the effect of wealth inequality on stability.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 124 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 106-115

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:124:y:2005:i:1:p:106-115
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  1. Christopher D. Carroll & Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function," Macroeconomics 9503003, EconWPA.
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  3. Gollier, Christian, 2001. "Wealth Inequality and Asset Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 181-203, January.
  4. 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.
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  6. Mark Huggett and Edouard Vidon, 2003. "Precautionary Wealth Accumulation: A Positive Third Derivative is not Enough," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Boldrin, Michele & Deneckere, Raymond J., 1990. "Sources of complex dynamics in two-sector growth models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 627-653, October.
  8. Christian Ghiglino & Marielle Olszak-Duquenne, 2001. "Inequalities and fluctuations in a dynamic general equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-24.
  9. Santos, M.S., 1989. "Differentiability And Comparative Analysis In Discrete-Time Infinite-Horizon Optimization Problems," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 127-89, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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