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Voracity and Growth Reconsidered

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  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This article investigates economic performance when enforceable property rights are missing and subsistence needs matter. It shows that if per capita income is sufficiently high, a windfall gain in productivity triggers behavior that leads to higher growth (the normal reaction). The same shock can produce voracious behavior and lower growth when faced by poor economic agents, in particular when their productivity is low and their society is largely fractionalized. This leads to a re-assessment of the voracity effect. Economic and social performance depends no longer on character traits (the assumed curvature of the utility function) as assumed in the earlier literature. Instead, the initial degree of development, the state of technology, and the make up of society are decisive. An extension towards a two-sector economy shows that conditions for an active informal sector of low productivity are much less restrictive than originally thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Strulik, Holger, 2008. "Voracity and Growth Reconsidered," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-401, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-401
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    2. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2007. "A Bioeconomic Foundation of the Malthusian Equilibrium: Body Size and Population Size in the Long-Run," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-373, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Ben-David, Dan, 1998. "Convergence clubs and subsistence economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 155-171, February.
    4. Steger, Thomas M., 2000. "Economic growth with subsistence consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 343-361, August.
    5. Ngo Long & Gerhard Sorger, 2006. "Insecure property rights and growth: the role of appropriation costs, wealth effects, and heterogeneity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(3), pages 513-529, August.
    6. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
    7. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
    8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    9. Mino, Kazuo, 2006. "Voracity vs. scale effect in a growing economy without secure property rights," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 278-284, November.
    10. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre PECHER, 2013. "Ethnic conflict, power dynamics and growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2014008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; property rights; common pool resources; voracity; fractionalization;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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