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Inequality in Developing Economies: The Role of Institutional Development

  • Adalgiso Amendola

    (Università di Salerno)

  • Joshy Easaw

    (University of Swansea)

  • Antonio Savoia

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

This paper studies the distributive impact of institutional change in developing countries. In such economies, property rights systems may preserve the interests of an influential minority, who can control key-markets, access to assets and investment opportunities, especially if they enjoy disproportionate political power. We test this hypothesis using cross-section and panel data methods on a sample of low- and middle-income economies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Results suggest that: (a) increasing property rights protection increases income inequality; (b) this effect is larger in low-democracy environments; (c) few countries have developed political institutions capable of counterbalancing this effect.

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File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1107.pdf
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Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1107.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1107
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  1. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2002. " Polarization, Politics and Property Rights: Links between Inequality and Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(1-2), pages 127-54, March.
  2. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  3. Alberto Chong & Mark Gradstein & Cecilia Calderon, 2009. "Can foreign aid reduce income inequality and poverty?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 59-84, July.
  4. Chong, Alberto & Calderon, Cesar, 2000. "Institutional Quality and Income Distribution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 761-86, July.
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  6. Giovanni S.F. Bruno, 2004. "Approximating the Bias of the LSDV Estimator for Dynamic Unbalanced Panel Data Models," KITeS Working Papers 159, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jul 2004.
  7. Berggren, Niclas, 1999. " Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 203-23, September.
  8. Henry Tam, 2008. "An economic or political Kuznets curve?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 367-389, March.
  9. Alberto E. Chong & Mark Gradstein, 2004. "Inequality and Institutions," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 5658, Inter-American Development Bank.
  10. Ann-Sofie Isaksson, 2011. "Social divisions and institutions: assessing institutional parameter variation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 331-357, June.
  11. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," NBER Working Papers 6364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. World Bank, 2007. "World Development Indicators 2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 8150.
  13. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
  14. Emilie Daudey & Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa, 2007. "The personal and the factor distributions of income in a cross-section of countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(5), pages 812-829.
  15. Gradstein. Mark & Milanovic, Branko, 2002. "Does Liberte = Egalite ? A survey of the empirical links between democracy and inequality with some evidence on the transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2875, The World Bank.
  16. Bun, Maurice J. G. & Kiviet, Jan F., 2003. "On the diminishing returns of higher-order terms in asymptotic expansions of bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 145-152, May.
  17. Adalgiso Amendola & Joshy Easaw & Antonio Savoia, 2013. "Inequality in developing economies: the role of institutional development," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 43-60, April.
  18. José Cheibub & Jennifer Gandhi & James Vreeland, 2010. "Democracy and dictatorship revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 67-101, April.
  19. 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.
  20. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "The Political Economy of the Kuznets Curve," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(2), pages 183-203, June.
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