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The Distribution of Wealth and the Efficiency of Institutions

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  • Eaton, B Curtis
  • White, William D

Abstract

This paper explores the effect on economic efficiency of the distribution of wealth and systems for enforcing property rights. The authors construct a two-person, two-period economy in which each person can consume, plant, transfer, or steal corn. They find circumstances in which redistribution of wealth is Pareto optimal and in which increasing sanctions against theft to the maximum level is not. These results suggest that it is not only important to consider distribution in the design of property institutions, but also that redistribution itself may serve to increase the efficiency of systems of property rights. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Eaton, B Curtis & White, William D, 1991. "The Distribution of Wealth and the Efficiency of Institutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 336-350, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:2:p:336-50
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    Cited by:

    1. Eaton, B.Curtis & Wen, Jean-François, 2008. "Myopic deterrence policies and the instability of equilibria," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 609-624, March.
    2. Alexander Granberg & Victor Suslov & Larisa Melnikova, 1998. "Equilibrium, kernel, integration in the multiregional system under liberalization of external trade," ERSA conference papers ersa98p127, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Di Tella, Rafael & Dubra, Juan, 2008. "Crime and punishment in the "American Dream"," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1564-1584, July.
    4. Granberg Alexander & Kolomak Evgeniya & Suslov Victor, 1998. "Russian 'Macro-Regions': Economic Integration and Interaction with the World Economy," EERC Working Paper Series 96-132e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    5. Arnold, Volker & Hübner, Marion, 2010. "Income redistribution and criminality in a growing economy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 338-344, December.
    6. Saha, Atanu & Poole, Graham, 2000. "The economics of crime and punishment: An analysis of optimal penalty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 191-196, August.

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