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The role of the wealth distribution on output volatility


  • Christian Ghiglino

    () (Department of Economics, University of Essex - University of Essex)

  • Alain Venditti

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)


We explore the link between wealth inequality and business cycle fluctuations in a two-sector neoclassical growth model with endogenous labor and heterogeneous agents. Assuming that wealth inequality is described by the distribution of shares of capital, we show that in the most plausible situations wealth equality is a stabilizing factor. In particular, when wealth is Pareto distributed and preferences generate non linear absolute risk tolerance indices, a rise in the Gini index may only be associated to a rise in volatility.When individual preferences are such that the individual absolute risk tolerance indices are linear, as with HARA utility, even a low level of taste heterogeneity ensures that a rise in inequality may not reduce volatility, and this independently of the wealth distribution.Finally, we note that such a clear result is at odd with the existing related literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Ghiglino & Alain Venditti, 2008. "The role of the wealth distribution on output volatility," Working Papers halshs-00281379, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00281379
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mino, Kazuo, 2001. "Indeterminacy and Endogenous Growth with Social Constant Returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 203-222, March.
    2. Kazuo Nishimura & Alain Venditti & Makoto Yano, 2006. "Endogenous Fluctuations In Two-Country Models," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(4), pages 516-532.
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    4. Boldrin, Michele & Montrucchio, Luigi, 1986. "On the indeterminacy of capital accumulation paths," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 26-39, October.
    5. Bewley, Truman, 1982. "An integration of equilibrium theory and turnpike theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2-3), pages 233-267, September.
    6. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1979. "The hopf bifurcation and the existence and stability of closed orbits in multisector models of optimal economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 421-444, December.
    7. Yano, Makoto, 1984. "The turnpike of dynamic general equilibrium paths and its insensitivity to initial conditions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 235-254, December.
    8. Nishimura, Kazuo & Yano, Makoto, 1993. "Interlinkage in the Endogenous Real Business Cycles of International Economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(1), pages 151-168, January.
    9. Epstein, Larry G., 1987. "A simple dynamic general equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 68-95, February.
    10. Robert A. Becker, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-382.
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