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Do Labor Market Policies and Growth Fundamentals Matter for Income Inequality in Oecd Countries? Some Empirical Evidence

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  • Mr. Patrick Van Houdt

Abstract

Income distribution may be related to fundamentals affecting economic growth and to labor market policies. Noting that inequality is affected by unemployment. This paper presents a model in which labor market policies affect unemployment which in turn affects inequality. The model also includes the effects of changes in per capita income on inequality through the accumulation of physical capital and technological know–how. When a resulting reduced–form relationship is estimated, its explanatory power is surprisingly high: on average, it explains about three quarters of the variation in inequality measures for the OECD countries, and Granger Causality tests confirm the model’s predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mr. Patrick Van Houdt, 1997. "Do Labor Market Policies and Growth Fundamentals Matter for Income Inequality in Oecd Countries? Some Empirical Evidence," IMF Working Papers 1997/003, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:1997/003
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    1. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Income Distribution and Growth: The Kuznets Hypothesis Revisited," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 103-117, Suppl..
    2. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-382, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Orsetta Causa & Alain de Serres & Nicolas Ruiz, 2015. "Can pro-growth policies lift all boats?: An analysis based on household disposable income," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2015(1), pages 227-268.
    2. César Calderón & Alberto Chong & Rodrigo Valdés, 2004. "Normativa del mercado laboral y desigualdad del ingreso: elementos de juicio de un grupo de países," Research Department Publications 4376, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. César Calderón & Alberto Chong & Rodrigo O. Valdés, 2005. "Labor Market Regulations and Income Inequality: Evidence for a Panel of Countries," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.),Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 7, pages 221-279, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
    5. Roman Arjona & Maxime Ladaique & Mark Pearson, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Social Protection," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 51, OECD Publishing.
    6. Alka Obadic & Nika Simurina & Robert Sonora, 2014. "The effects of tax policy and labour market institutions on income inequality," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics and Business, vol. 32(1), pages 121-140.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "What can we learn about country performance from conditional comparisons across countries?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2342, The World Bank.
    8. Roman Arjona & Maxime Ladaique, 2003. "Mark Pearson Growth, Inequality and Social Protection," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(s1), pages 119-140, January.
    9. Orsetta Causa & Alain de Serres & Nicolas Ruiz, 2015. "Structural reforms and income distribution," OECD Economic Policy Papers 13, OECD Publishing.
    10. César Calderón & Alberto Chong, 2009. "Labor market institutions and income inequality: an empirical exploration," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 65-81, January.
    11. Isabell Koske & Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabelle Wanner, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 925, OECD Publishing.
    12. Vanesa Jorda & Jose M. Alonso, 2020. "What works to mitigate and reduce relative (and absolute) inequality?: A systematic review," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-152, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WP; physical capital; income share; top-to-bottom income ratio; investment share; per capita income; labor market training; OECD employment outlook; income gain; Income inequality; Labor market policy; Personal income; Income distribution; Active labor market policies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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