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Social Conflict and Growth

  • Benhabib, Jess
  • Rustichini, Aldo

Despite the predictions of the neoclassical theory of economic growth, we observe that poor countries have invested at lower rates and have not grown faster than rich countries. To explain these empirical regularities we provide a game-theoretic model of conflict between social groups over the distribution of income. Among all possible equilibria, we concentrate on those that are on the constrained Pareto frontier. We study how the level of wealth and the degree of inequality affects growth. We show how lower wealth can lead to lower growth and even to stagnation when the incentives to domestic accumulation are weakened by redistributive considerations. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 1 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 125-42

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:1:y:1996:i:1:p:125-42
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102931

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  1. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  2. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
  3. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Baumol, William J & Wolff, Edward N, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1155-59, December.
  5. Benhabib, Jess & Ferri, Giovanni, 1987. "Bargaining and the Evolution of Cooperation in a Dynamic Game," Working Papers 87-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. J. Bradford De Long, . "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  7. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1991. "Social Conflict, Growth and Income Distribution," Working Papers 91-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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