IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Explaining the Evidence on Inequality and Growth: Informality and Redistribution

Listed author(s):
  • Lewis S. Davis
Registered author(s):

    Please do note quote without permission of author. - This paper constructs a simple model that can account for both the negative relationship between growth and income inequality observed in the cross-country data and the positive relationship observed within countries over time. The model employs a dual-economy structure with formal and informal sectors. Growth is driven by formal sector human capital spillovers. Restrictive institutions impose barriers to formality that reduce the growth rate and increase inequality. Redistributive taxation lowers inequality but blunts the incentive to accumulate, lowering growth. Institutional structures vary more across than within countries. Consequently, variations in institutional barriers to formality may account for the negative relationship between growth and inequality found in the cross-country data. Variations in the intensity of redistribution may account for the positive relationship observed within countries over time.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_09/C009_032.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c009_032.

    as
    in new window

    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2004
    Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c009_032
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg

    Phone: +45 6550 2233
    Fax: +45 6550 1090
    Web page: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1998. "Regulatory Discretion and the Unofficial Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 387-392, May.
    3. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "The Regulation of Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 1-37.
    4. J. Barkley Rosser Jr & Marina V. Rosser & Ehsan Ahmed, 2003. "Multiple unofficial economy equilibria and income distribution dynamics in systemic transition," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 25(3), pages 425-447, March.
    5. Simon Johnson & Daniel Kaufman & Andrei Shleifer, 1997. "The Unofficial Economy in Transition," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 159-240.
    6. Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
    7. François Bourguignon, 1990. "Growth and Inequality in the Dual Model of Development: The Role of Demand Factors," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 215-228.
    8. Fields, Gary S, 1993. "Inequality in Dual Economy Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1228-1235, September.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
    10. Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 755-776.
    11. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stephane, 2003. "Taxes, inequality and the size of the informal sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 225-233, February.
    12. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    14. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    15. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They Are and How to Acquire Them," Chapters,in: Institutions, Globalisation and Empowerment, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. James E. Rauch, 1993. "Economic Development, Urban Underemployment, and Income Inequality," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 901-918, November.
    17. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-299, September.
    18. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    19. Loayza, Norman V., 1996. "The economics of the informal sector: a simple model and some empirical evidence from Latin America," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 129-162, December.
    20. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    21. Dani Rodrik, 2006. "Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They Are and How to Acquire Them," Chapters,in: Institutions, Globalisation and Empowerment, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    23. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "Does income inequality raise aggregate saving?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 417-446, April.
    24. Robinson, Sherman, 1976. "A Note on the U Hypothesis Relating Income Inequality and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 437-440, June.
    25. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2002. "Polarization, Politics and Property Rights: Links between Inequality and Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(1-2), pages 127-154, March.
    26. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    27. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
    28. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
    29. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    30. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    31. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
    33. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
    34. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
    35. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," LIS Working papers 142, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    36. Li, Hongyi & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 318-334, October.
    37. 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.
    38. Easterly, William, 2001. "The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-335, December.
    39. Rosser, J. Jr. & Rosser, Marina V. & Ahmed, Ehsan, 2000. "Income Inequality and the Informal Economy in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 156-171, March.
    40. Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1998. "Inequality and development: the role of dualism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 233-257.
    41. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
    42. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    43. Pyatt, Graham, 1976. "On the Interpretation and Disaggregation of Gini Coefficients," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(342), pages 243-255, June.
    44. Knight, J B, 1976. "Explaining Income Distribution in Less Developed Countries: A Framework and an Agenda," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 38(3), pages 161-177, August.
    45. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    46. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    47. repec:hrv:faseco:30728045 is not listed on IDEAS
    48. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c009_032. 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: (Jan Pedersen)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.