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Inequality and Growth: The Role of Beliefs and Culture

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Abstract

Governments perpetually align their policies to satisfy shifts in voters' relative demand for economic growth versus social equality. Following such shifts, increases (decreases) in government interventions lower (raise) both inequality and growth. This mechanism generates a positive co-movement between inequality and growth. The pattern is weaker in countries where a culturally determined belief that the rich are deserving renders equality a less important objective in the first place. I develop this analytical result in the theoretical framework of Alesina and Angeletos (2005), and I provide robust empirical support for it in a panel of 38 countries over the period 1964-2004.

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  • Strieborny, Martin, 2013. "Inequality and Growth: The Role of Beliefs and Culture," Working Papers 2013:15, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2013_015
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    Cited by:

    1. Basedau, Matthias & Gobien, Simone & Prediger, Sebastian, 2017. "The Ambivalent Role of Religion for Sustainable Development: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," GIGA Working Papers 297, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    2. Yongzheng Liu, 2016. "Do government preferences matter for tax competition?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 343-367, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    culture; inequality; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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