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Inequalities and Growth in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Region

Listed author(s):
  • Olivier Basdevant
  • Dalmacio Benicio
  • Yorbol Yakhshilikov

This paper applies the work of Berg and Ostry (2011) to the SACU region, to identify how inequalities have played a role in growth in each of these countries, and elaborates policy options to mitigate the effects of inequalities and foster growth. Lower income inequalities could lead to significant gains, as SACU countries could almost double the duration of their growth periods, with much lower inequalities. While reducing inequalities may be desirable, the design of policies to achieve such objective is not trivial. Policies targeting income inequalities at the sources are expected to be the most effective to reduce inequalities and promote growth. However, direct redistribution, if carefully crafted can also be very effective in reducing inequalities while limiting its potentially negative impact on growth.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/290.

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Length: 22
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2012
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/290
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  1. Cynthia B. Lloyd & Paul Hewett, 2009. "Educational inequalities in the midst of persistent poverty: Diversity across Africa in educational outcomes," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1137-1151.
  2. Marisa Coetzee, 2011. "Finding the benefits: Estimating the impact of the South African child support grant," Working Papers 230, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  3. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-834, August.
  4. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Doménech, 2006. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, 03.
  5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  6. Oded Galor & Omar Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2006. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_001, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  9. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
  10. 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.
  11. del Barrio-Castro, Tomas & Lopez-Bazo, Enrique & Serrano-Domingo, Guadalupe, 2002. "New evidence on international R&D spillovers, human capital and productivity in the OECD," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 41-45, September.
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