Escaping Poverty: Risk-Taking and Endogenous Inequality in a Model of Equilibrium Growth
Recent macroeconomic models of income distribution generate equilibria characterized as poverty traps. These models specify a production indivisibility such that, due to problems of asymmetric information in credit or capital markets, poor agents are never able to acquire the resources necessary to overcome the indivisibility. In the context of an equilibrium growth model, this paper demonstrates that faced with such constraints, poor, risk-averse agents have incentives to voluntarily take on risk in the hopes of exiting poverty. Each period they remain in poverty, they sacrifice a small amount of current consumption to pool resources for this risky activity. Risk-taking, economic mobility, and the distribution of income are generated endogenously. Furthermore, beginning from identical endowments, "initial" inequality also emerges endogenously. It is shown that voluntary risk-taking eliminates many potential steady-state equilibria of this and other models -- those that exhibit individual poverty traps. All agents (or dynasties) expect to escape at some future date, after a perhaps extended spell in poverty. (Copyright: Elsevier)
Volume (Year): 3 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Marina Azzimonti, Department of Economics, Stonybrook University, 10 Nicolls Road, Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/red/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: https://www.economicdynamics.org/subscription-information/ Email: |
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.:
- Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1990.
"The Economics Of Rotating Savings And Credit Associations,"
149, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn, 1993. "The Economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 792-810, September.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate & Glenn Loury, 1992. "The Economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 24, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1990. "The Economics Of Rotating Savings And Credit Associations," Working papers 556, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1992. "The economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Papers 157, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 2010.
"Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria With Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2069, David K. Levine.
- Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 21-45, January.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate & Glenn Loury, 1994. "Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, Credit Markets and Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 701-719.
- Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
- Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984.
"General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, February.
- Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 1997. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1578, David K. Levine.
- Sherwin Rosen, 1996.
NBER Working Papers
5846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013.
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,"
2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Hansen, Gary D., 1985.
"Indivisible labor and the business cycle,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
- Rogerson, Richard, 1988.
"Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
- Freeman, Scott, 1996. "Equilibrium Income Inequality among Identical Agents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1047-64, October.
- Andreas Lehnert, 1998. "Asset pooling, credit rationing, and growth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Kanbur, S M, 1979. "Of Risk Taking and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 769-97, August.
- Garratt, Rod & Marshall, John M, 1994. "Public Finance of Private Goods: The Case of College Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 566-82, June.
- Thomas Piketty, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 173-189.
- Ng Yew Kwang, 1965. "Why do People Buy Lottery Tickets? Choices Involving Risk and the Indivisibility of Expenditure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 530.
- Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:3:y:2000:i:4:p:704-725. 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: (Christian Zimmermann)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.