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Inequality, growth and welfare: The main links

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  • Joël Hellier

    () (EQUIPPE, Univ. of Lille 1 and LEMNA, Univ. of Nantes)

  • Stéphane Lambrecht

    (EQUIPPE, Univ. of Lille 1 and Univ. of Valenciennes)

Abstract

We review the literature on the links between inequality, growth and welfare. Three questions are addressed: 1) What is the impact of growth and development on inequality? 2) What is the impact of inequality on growth, development and welfare? 3) What is the impact of proequality public policies upon growth and welfare? As regards the first question, the theoretical and empirical literature that analyses Kuznets hypothesis is firstly reviewed. The answer to the question of the impact of inequality on growth is twofold. Firstly, inequality fosters growth when this is based on capital accumulation, but it hinders growth when growth is based on human capital accumulation and when inequality-related social disturbances are considered. Identically, pro-equality public policies may engender very different effects upon growth depending on their influence on factor accumulation. These mixed impacts may explain the ambiguous findings provided by the empirical literature. If most of the estimates carried out in the 1990s seemed to confirm that inequality was damaging for growth, the 2000s empirical literature reconsiders this diagnosis but remains inconclusive.

Suggested Citation

  • Joël Hellier & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Inequality, growth and welfare: The main links," Working Papers 258, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-258
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2012-258.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier, 2012. "Inequality in Emerging Countries," Working Papers hal-00993411, HAL.
    2. Karine Constant & Natacha Raffin, 2016. "Environnement, croissance et inégalités : le rôle particulier du canal de la santé," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 9-29.
    3. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Growth; Welfare.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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