Why progressive redistribution can hurt the poor
Recent macroeconomic research discusses credit market imperfections as a key channel through which inequality retards growth: With convex technologies, progressive transfers increase aggregate output because marginal returns become more equalized across investment opportunities. We argue that this reasoning may not hold in general equilibrium. Since the investment functions are concave in wealth, reducing inequality increases capital demand and the interest rate. Hence, through the impact on capital costs, shifting wealth from the rich to the middle class depletes the poorest investors' access to credit. But because the poor face the highest marginal returns, the net effect on output may be negative. We find, however, that redistributing towards the bottom-end of the distribution has a clear positive impact. Finally, we discuss the implications of our theoretical findings for future empirical research.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Piketty, Thomas, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 173-89, April.
- Banerjee, Abhijit & Newman, Andrew F, 1998. "Information, the Dual Economy, and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 631-53, October.
- Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
- Genicot, Garance & Ray, Debraj, 2006. "Bargaining power and enforcement in credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 398-412, April.
- Sarah Voitchovsky, 2005. "Does the Profile of Income Inequality Matter for Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 273-296, 09.
- Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993.
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003.
" Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-99, September.
- Kiminori Matsuyama, 1998.
1238, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 1996.
"Wealth effects, distribution, and the theory of organization,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/7036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Legros, Patrick & Newman, Andrew F., 1996. "Wealth Effects, Distribution, and the Theory of Organization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 312-341, August.
- Thomas Piketty, 1992.
"Imperfect Capital Markets and Persistence of Initial Wealth Inequalities,"
STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series
255, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Thomas Piketty, 1992. "Imperfect capital markets and persistence of initial wealth inequalities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19371, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- repec:cep:stitep:/1992/255 is not listed on IDEAS
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:738-747. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.