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Optimal cycles and social inequality: What do we learn from the Gini index?

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  • Bosi, Stefano
  • Seegmuller, Thomas

Abstract

One of the plausible explanations for macroeconomic fluctuations relies on the occurrence of endogenous deterministic cycles. In the last three decades, most of the relevant literature has rested on the assumption of a representative agent but, recently, a few papers have investigated the role of consumers' heterogeneity on endogenous fluctuations. Our article aims at taking a step forward in order to give a more suitable interpretation. To keep things as simple as possible, we introduce heterogeneous households in a two-sector optimal growth model and we study how wealth heterogeneity affects the occurrence of endogenous cycles. In contrast to previous results, we relate the existence of such cycles to the most commonly used inequality measure, the Gini index, and analyze the impact of consumers' heterogeneity on this index.
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  • Bosi, Stefano & Seegmuller, Thomas, 2006. "Optimal cycles and social inequality: What do we learn from the Gini index?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 35-46, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:60:y:2006:i:1:p:35-46
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    1. Santos, Manuel S., 1992. "Differentiability and comparative analysis in discrete-time infinite-horizon optimization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 222-229.
    2. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Levine, David K. & Romer, Paul M., 1990. "Determinacy of equilibria in dynamic models with finitely many consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-21, February.
    3. Bosi, Stefano & Magris, Francesco & Venditti, Alain, 2005. "Competitive equilibrium cycles with endogenous labor," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 325-349, April.
    4. Ghiglino, Christian, 2005. "Wealth inequality and dynamic stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 106-115, September.
    5. Christian Ghiglino & Marielle Olszak-Duquenne, 2001. "Inequalities and fluctuations in a dynamic general equilibrium model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 17(1), pages 1-24.
    6. Becker, Robert A. & Tsyganov, Eugene N., 2002. "Ramsey Equilibrium in a Two-Sector Model with Heterogeneous Households," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 188-225, July.
    7. Nishimura, Kazuo, 1985. "Competitive equilibrium cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 284-306, August.
    8. Berthold Herrendorf & Akos Valentinyi & Robert Waldmann, 2000. "Ruling Out Multiplicity and Indeterminacy: The Role of Heterogeneity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 295-307.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bosi, Stefano & Seegmuller, Thomas, 2008. "Can heterogeneous preferences stabilize endogenous fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 624-647, February.
    2. Druckman, A. & Jackson, T., 2008. "Measuring resource inequalities: The concepts and methodology for an area-based Gini coefficient," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 242-252, April.
    3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00266713 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. F. Aleskerov & I. Frumin & E. Kardanova, 2016. "Heterogeneity of the educational system: an introduction to the problem," Papers 1701.07322, arXiv.org.
    5. Christian Ghiglino & Alain Venditti, 2008. "The role of the wealth distribution on output volatility," Working Papers halshs-00281379, HAL.
    6. Sun, Chuanwang & Zhang, Yifan & Peng, Shuijun & Zhang, Wencheng, 2015. "The inequalities of public utility products in China: From the perspective of the Atkinson index," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 751-760.

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