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Inequalities and Patience in Catching up


  • Kazumichi Iwasa

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Laixun Zhao

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)


This paper examines how impatience interacts with inequalities in economic development. We consider two distinct groups of households, (i.e., with intrinsic inequality), and show that (i) under decreasing marginal impatience (DMI), an unequal society may be preferable for poor households; (ii) poor households tend to benefit more from positive shocks under DMI than CMI (constant marginal impatience). (iii) inequality exhibits a sharp inverted-U shape as more people become rich, which should be good news for developing countries in catching up; (iv) a tax on capital income reduces poor house-holds' income when the fraction of the rich is sufficiently small; (v) immigration into rich countries raises their average income but widens the income gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Kazumichi Iwasa & Laixun Zhao, 2017. "Inequalities and Patience in Catching up," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-11, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2017-11

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