IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jmp/jm2014/pta581.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Top Income Inequality, Aggregate Saving and the Gains from Trade

Author

Listed:
  • Lixin Tang

Abstract

I study the implications of top income inequality for the gains from trade in a dynamic model. I argue that higher top income inequality among entrepreneurs can increase the gains from trade for workers. In the model, entrepreneurs face uninsurable idiosyncratic productivity risk, and thus save. Since the most productive entrepreneurs have the highest saving rate and are the ones that export, a reduction in trade costs increases their share of total pro ts and their savings, which leads to a large increase in the aggregate supply of capital. The welfare gains from trade for workers in the model are 6.4%, which are larger than in comparable benchmarks without top income inequality or capital accumulation. While the typical entrepreneur loses in consumption because of higher labor costs, aggregate consumption by entrepreneurs increases by 3.6%. Empirically, I find a strong relationship between trade openness and the national saving rate in a large sample of countries, consistent with the model. I find a much weaker relationship between trade openness and the investment rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Lixin Tang, 2014. "Top Income Inequality, Aggregate Saving and the Gains from Trade," 2014 Papers pta581, Job Market Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:jmp:jm2014:pta581
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ideas.repec.org/jmp/2014/pta581.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Frictions, and Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 835-870, October.
    2. Kalina Manova, 2013. "Credit Constraints, Heterogeneous Firms, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 711-744.
    3. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 2001. "Trade in capital goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1195-1235.
    4. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2012. "Markups and Firm-Level Export Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2437-2471, October.
    5. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
    6. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2013. "Natural disasters and the effect of trade on income: A new panel IV approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 18-30.
    7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    8. Ann Harrison & John McLaren & Margaret McMillan, 2011. "Recent Perspectives on Trade and Inequality," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 261-289, September.
    9. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026.
    10. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    13. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag, 2014. "Establishment heterogeneity, exporter dynamics, and the effects of trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 207-223.
    14. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    15. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2013. "Firm entry, trade, and welfare in Zipf's world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 283-296.
    16. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    17. Fatih Guvenen, 2007. "Do Stockholders Share Risk More Effectively than Nonstockholders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 275-288, May.
    18. 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.
    19. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    20. James Feyrer, 2019. "Trade and Income—Exploiting Time Series in Geography," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 1-35, October.
    21. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    22. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    23. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    24. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 39-82, March.
    25. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2009. "The long-run determinants of inequality: What can we learn from top income data?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 974-988, August.
    26. Saez, Emmanuel & Zucman, Gabriel, 2014. "Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 10227, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    27. Michael Kumhof & Romain Rancière & Pablo Winant, 2015. "Inequality, Leverage, and Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1217-1245, March.
    28. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    29. Dennis P. Quinn & A. Maria Toyoda, 2008. "Does Capital Account Liberalization Lead to Growth?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(3), pages 1403-1449, May.
    30. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    31. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Indicators 2012," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6014.
    32. Ma, Lin & Ruzic, Dimitrije, 2020. "Globalization and top income shares," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    33. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 165-181, May.
    34. Loayza, Norman & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "What drives private saving around the world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2309, The World Bank.
    35. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    36. Yan Bai & Jing Zhang, 2010. "Solving the Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle With Financial Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 603-632, March.
    37. Baldwin, Richard E, 1992. "Measurable Dynamic Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 162-174, February.
    38. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
    39. Foellmi, Reto & Oechslin, Manuel, 2010. "Market imperfections, wealth inequality, and the distribution of trade gains," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 15-25, May.
    40. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Dennis Tao Yang, 2012. "Aggregate Savings and External Imbalances in China," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 125-146, Fall.
    42. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    43. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
    44. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    45. Jonathan Haskel & Robert Z. Lawrence & Edward E. Leamer & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2012. "Globalization and U.S. Wages: Modifying Classic Theory to Explain Recent Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 119-140, Spring.
    46. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lixin Tang, 2020. "Entrepreneur Income Inequality, Aggregate Saving and the Gains from Trade," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 273-295, October.
    2. Jones, C.I., 2016. "The Facts of Economic Growth," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 3-69, Elsevier.
    3. Kikkawa, Ayumu Ken & Sasahara, Akira, 2020. "Gains from trade and the sovereign bond market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    4. Brambilla, Irene & Porto, Guido G., 2016. "High-income export destinations, quality and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 21-35.
    5. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    6. Rotunno, Lorenzo & Wood, Adrian, 2020. "Wage inequality and skill supplies in a globalised world," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 529-547.
    7. Raveh, Ohad & Reshef, Ariell, 2016. "Capital imports composition, complementarities, and the skill premium in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 183-206.
    8. Stimpfle, Alexander & Stadelmann, David, 2015. "The Impact of Fundamental Development Factors on Different Income Groups: International Evidence," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113128, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Wyatt J. Brooks & Pau S. Pujolas, 2018. "Capital accumulation and the welfare gains from trade," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 66(2), pages 491-523, August.
    10. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    11. Finicelli, Andrea & Pagano, Patrizio & Sbracia, Massimo, 2013. "Ricardian selection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 96-109.
    12. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2013. "Natural disasters and the effect of trade on income: A new panel IV approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 18-30.
    13. Harold Creusen & Arjan Lejour, 2009. "The contribution of trade policy to the openness of the Dutch economy," CPB Document 194.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    14. L. Alan Winters & Antonio Martuscelli, 2014. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: What Have We Learned in a Decade?," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 493-512, October.
    15. Elizaveta Archanskaia & Guillaume Daudin, 2012. "Heterogeneity and the Distance Puzzle," FIW Working Paper series 095, FIW.
    16. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    17. Han, Minsoo & Pyun, Ju Hyun, 2021. "Markups and income inequality: Causal links, 1975-2011," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 290-312.
    18. Kosack, Stephen & Tobin, Jennifer L., 2015. "Which Countries’ Citizens Are Better Off With Trade?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 95-113.
    19. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Louis Putterman, 2006. "Sub-Saharan Growth Surprises: Geography, Institutions And History in an all African Data Panel," Working Papers 2006-21, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    20. Bert Minne & Dinand Webbink, 2008. "Raising teacher supply: An assessment of three options for increasing wages," CPB Memorandum 194.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jmp:jm2014:pta581. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://ideas.repec.org/jmp.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://ideas.repec.org/jmp.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.