Boats and tides and "trickle down" theories: What economists presume about wellbeing when they employ stochastic process theory in modeling behavior
Aphorisms that 'rising tides raise all boats' or that material advances of the rich eventually 'trickle down' to the poor are really maxims regarding the nature of stochastic processes that underlay the income/wellbeing paths of groups of individuals. This paper looks at the implications for the empirical analysis of wellbeing of conventional assumptions regarding such processes which are employed by both micro and macro economists in modeling economic behavior. The implications of attributing different processes to different groups in society following the club convergence literature are also discussed. Various forms of poverty, inequality, polarization and income mobility structures are considered and much of the conventional wisdom afforded us by such aphorisms is questioned. To exemplify these ideas the results are applied to the distribution of GDP per capita in the continent of Africa.
Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): ()
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- James Hines & Hilary Hoynes & Alan B. Krueger, 2001.
"Another Look at Whether a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats,"
833, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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- Alan Harrison, 1981. "Earnings by Size: A Tale of Two Distributions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 621-631. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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