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The Dynamics of Wealth and Income Distribution in a Neoclassical Growth Model

We examine the evolution of the distributions of wealth and income in a Ramsey model in which agents differ in their initial capital endowment and where the labor supply is endogenous. The assumption that the utility function is homogeneous in consumption and leisure implies that the macroeconomic equilibrium is independent of the distribution of wealth and allows us to fully characterize income and wealth dynamics. We find non-degenerate longrun distributions of wealth and income. The model shows that (i) the initial level of aggregate capital is an essential determinant of whether inequality increases or decreases during the transition to the steady state; (ii) temporary shocks to the stock of capital have long-run effects on the distribution of wealth even if they do not affect the stationary aggregate variables; (iii) income inequality need not move together with wealth inequality if factor shares change during the transition.

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Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0604.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision: Jul 2006
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0604
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  15. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1967. "Distribution of Income and Wealth Among Individuals," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 238, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Yann Algan & Arnaud Cheron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot, 2003. "Wealth Effect on Labor Market Transitions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 156-178, January.
  17. Bliss, Christopher, 2004. "Koopmans recursive preferences and income convergence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 124-139, July.
  18. Antonio Ladron de Guevara & Salvador Ortigueira & Manuel S. Santos, 1994. "Equilibrium Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," Working Papers 9403, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  19. Zabalza, Antoni, 1983. "The CES Utility Function, Non-Linear Budget Constraints and Labour Supply: Results on Female Participation and Hours," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(37), pages 312-30, June.
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