Wealth Polarization and Pulverization in Fractal Societies
In this paper we study the geometrical properties of the support of the limit distributions of income/wealth in economies with uninsurable individual risk, and how they are affected by technology and preference parameters and by policy variables. We work out two simple successive generation models with stochastic human capital accumulation and with R&D and we prove that intense technological progress makes the support of the wealth distribution converge to a fractal Cantor-like set. Such limit distribution implies the disappearance of the middle class, with a “gap” between two polarized wealth clusters that widens as the growth rate becomes higher. Hence, we claim that in a highly meritocratic world in which the payoff of the successful individuals is high enough, and in which social mobility is strong, societies tend to look highly “fractalized”. We also show that a redistribution scheme financed by proportional taxation does not help cure society’s disconnection/polarization; on the contrary, it might increase it. Finally we show that these results are not confined to our analytically worked out examples but are easily extended to a widely used class of macroeconomic and growth models.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Corso Unione Sovietica, 218bis - 10134 Torino - Italy|
Phone: +39 011 6706060
Fax: +39 011 6706062
Web page: http://www.esomas.unito.it/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
- repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
- Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999.
"Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & GarcÃa-PeÃ±alosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark, 1997. "Cross-Country Growth Regressions," Working Papers 97-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013.
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,"
2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth,"
537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
- L. Montrucchio & F. Privileggi, 1999. "Fractal steady states instochastic optimal control models," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 88(0), pages 183-197, January.
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. "Social Conflict and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 125-42, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Inequality, Growth, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 7038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- 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 274-298, April.
- Mitra, Tapan & Montrucchio, Luigi & Privileggi, Fabio, 2001.
"The Nature of the Steady State in Models of Optimal Growth Under Uncertainty,"
01-04, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- Tapan Mitra & Luigi Montrucchio & Fabio Privileggi, 2003. "The nature of the steady state in models of optimal growth under uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 23(1), pages 39-71, December.
- Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
- Peter Howitt, 1999. "Steady Endogenous Growth with Population and R & D Inputs Growing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 715-730, August.
- Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-784, August.
- Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
- 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 1447-1458, December.
- Thomas Piketty, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 173-189.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:icr:wpmath:39-2002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Simone Pellegrino)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.