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Efficient institutions

  • Thorsten Koeppl
  • Cyril Monnet
  • Erwan Quintin

Are efficiency considerations important for understanding differences in the development of institutions? The authors model institutional quality as the degree to which obligations associated with exchanging capital can be enforced. Establishing a positive level of enforcement requires an aggregate investment of capital that is no longer available for production. When capital endowments are more unequally distributed, the bigger dispersion in marginal products makes it optimal to invest more resources in enforcement. The optimal allocation of the institutional cost across agents is not monotonic and entails a redistribution of endowments before production begins. Investing in enforcement benefits primarily agents at the bottom of the endowment distribution and leads to a reduction in consumption and income inequality. Efficiency, redistribution and the quality of institutions are thus intricately linked and should be studied jointly.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 08-33.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:08-33
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  1. Cyril Monnet & Erwan Quintin, 2005. "Why do financial systems differ? History matters," 2005 Meeting Papers 275, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Thorsten Koeppl, 2005. "Optimal Dynamic Risk Sharing when Enforcement is a Decision Variable," Working Papers 1050, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth Lee Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economies," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2002), pages 41-110, August.
  4. Glaeser, Edward L. & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Scholarly Articles 27867242, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2003. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000426, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Dan Bernhardt & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 1993. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Working Papers 893, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2008. "Markets versus governments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 159-189, January.
  10. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  11. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  12. 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 274-98, April.
  13. Leonid Hurwicz, 1994. "Economic design, adjustment processes, mechanisms, and institutions," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, December.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  15. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "Income distribution and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 827-835, April.
  17. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
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