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Factor Income Distribution and Endogenous Economic Growth - When Piketty meets Romer -

Author

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  • Andreas Irmen

    () (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)

  • Amer Tabakovic

    (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)

Abstract

We scrutinize Thomas Piketty’s (2014) theory concerning the relationship between an economy’s long-run growth rate, its capital-income ratio, and its factor income distribution put forth in his recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. We find that a smaller long-run growth rate may be associated with a smaller capital-income ratio. Hence, the key implication of Piketty’s Second Fundamental Law of Capitalism does not hold. In line with Piketty’s theory a smaller long-run growth rate may go together with a greater capital share. However, the mechanics behind this result are the opposite of what Piketty suggests. Our findings obtain in variants of Romer’s (1990) seminal model of endogenous technological change. Here, both the economy’s savings rate and its growth rate are endogenous variables whereas in Piketty’s theory they are both exogenous parameters. Including demographic growth in the spirit of Jones (1995) shows that a smaller growth rate of the economy may imply a lower capital share contradicting a central claim in Piketty’s book.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Irmen & Amer Tabakovic, 2016. "Factor Income Distribution and Endogenous Economic Growth - When Piketty meets Romer -," CREA Discussion Paper Series 16-18, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:16-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
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    Keywords

    Endogenous Technological Change; Capital Accumulation; Aggregate Factor Income Distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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