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Inequality and Public Resource Allocation

Author

Listed:
  • Joan Esteban
  • Debraj Ray

Abstract

We set up a signaling game where individuals differ in ability and wealth. Higher ability means larger benefit supported by the government. Costly signals are used to transmit information regarding own deservingness. However, capital market imperfections may perturb the signals by limiting the capacity of poor people to send the appropriate signal. We examine the cost in efficiency produced by the existing inequality in the distribution of wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Inequality and Public Resource Allocation," Working Papers 47, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:47
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    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/47.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    2. Ljungqvist, Lars, 1993. "Economic underdevelopment : The case of a missing market for human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-239, April.
    3. Mohtadi, Hamid & Roe, Terry, 1998. "Growth, lobbying and public goods," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 453-473, August.
    4. Kelly Bedard, 2001. "Human Capital versus Signaling Models: University Access and High School Dropouts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 749-775, August.
    5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 755-776.
    7. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rama, Martin & Tabellim, Guido, 1998. "Lobbying by capital and labor over trade and labor market policies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1295-1316, July.
    9. Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Investment, property rights and political instability: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1317-1341, July.
    10. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    11. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-530, June.
    12. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    13. Ray, Debraj & Streufert, Peter A, 1993. "Dynamic Equilibria with Unemployment Due to Undernourishment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(1), pages 61-85, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; resource allocation; lobbying; imperfect capital markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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