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Reassessing the relationship between inequality and development

  • Hugo Rojas-Romagosa

    ()

  • J.F. Francois

We reassess the empirical relevance of the Kuznets Curve with a new inequality dataset. Using panel data estimations that account for the heterogeneity of inequality observations, we test for both the unconditional and the conditional hypothesis that includes alternative inequality determinants. We find that inequality and income levels are related in a cubic function or "tilde-pattern". This novel finding does not contradict the traditional Kuznets hypothesis, but extends it. Increasing inequality in OECD countries during recent years suggests that inequality rises at high levels of economic development. This “tilde-pattern” is robust to different inequality indicators, estimation techniques and control variables.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 107.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:107
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  1. Francois, Joseph & Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo, 2004. "Trade Policy and the Household Distribution of Income," CEPR Discussion Papers 4436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
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  13. Joseph Francois & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2007. "The Construction and Interpretation of Combined Cross-Section and Time-Series Inequality Datasets," IIDE Discussion Papers 20070805, Institue for International and Development Economics.
  14. James K. Galbraith & Hyunsub Kum, 2005. "Estimating The Inequality Of Household Incomes: A Statistical Approach To The Creation Of A Dense And Consistent Global Data Set," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(1), pages 115-143, 03.
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