IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mil/wpdepa/2012-01.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The real roots of the great recession: unsustainable income distribution

Author

Listed:
  • Massimo FLORIO

Abstract

This article suggests that, at the root of the Great Recession, there are two imbalances: an unsustainable distribution of income in advanced economies, and a growing income gap between them and the rest of the world. Several factors have squeezed the share of labour income, particularly of less skilled workers in advanced capitalist economies and hugely increased the share of capital income (sometimes disguised as pay for the work of top managers). In the US and elsewhere, the demand for consumer goods did not fall until the recent Great Recession thanks to the growth of private debt. A progressive income redistribution policy is seen as the core structural reform needed to rebalance the system, along with a change in international economic relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo FLORIO, 2012. "The real roots of the great recession: unsustainable income distribution," Departmental Working Papers 2012-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2012-01
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2012/DEMM-2012_001wp.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-1198, December.
    2. Paolo Sylos Labini, 2003. "Prospects for the world economy," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(226), pages 179-206.
    3. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2010. "Top Incomes: A Global Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286898.
    4. 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.
    5. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    7. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1, June.
    8. Martin Ravallion, 2009. "Bailing Out the World's Poorest," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 55-80.
    9. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    10. Heather Boushey & Chris Tilly, 2009. "The Limits of Work-Based Social Support in the United States," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(2), pages 81-114.
    11. F. A. Lutz, 1961. "The Theory of Capital," International Economic Association Series, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-349-08452-4 edited by D. C. Hague.
    12. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Savings," NBER Chapters, in: Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953), pages 171-218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Massimo Florio, 2005. "A ``European Consensus'' on the Growth Agenda? A Discussion of the Sapir Report," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 12(3), pages 411-431, December.
    14. Anthony Atkinson & Thomas Piketty, 2010. "Top Incomes : A Global Perspective," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-00754875, HAL.
    15. Day, Theodore E & Liebowitz, S J, 1998. "Mortgage Lending to Minorities: Where's the Bias?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 3-28, January.
    16. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," LIS Working papers 142, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    17. Dean Baker, 2007. "The Productivity to Paycheck Gap: What the Data Show," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2007-11, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    18. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-264.
    19. Goodhart, Charles, 2001. "What Weight Should Be Given to Asset Prices in the Measurement of Inflation?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(472), pages 335-356, June.
    20. Joseph E Stiglitz, 2009. "The Current Economic Crisis and Lessons for Economic Theory," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 281-296.
    21. Anthony Atkinson & Thomas Piketty, 2007. "Top incomes over the twentieth century: A contrast between continental european and english-speaking countries," Post-Print halshs-00754859, HAL.
    22. C. Goodhart, 2001. "What Weight Should be Given to Asset Prices in the Measurementof Inflation?," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 65, Netherlands Central Bank.
    23. Paolo Sylos Labini, 2003. "Prospects for the world economy," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(226), pages 179-206.
    24. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2007. "Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century: A Contrast Between Continental European and English-Speaking Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286881.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Olga Zakrevskaya & Sharon Mastracci, 2013. "Differential Effects of the Great Recession by Household Type," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(6), pages 87-114.

    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. Tuominen Elina, 2016. "Reversal of the Kuznets curve: Study on the inequality–development relation using top income shares data," Working Papers 1610, Tampere University, School of Management and Business, Economics.
    2. Atanu Ghoshray & Issam Malki & Javier Ordóñez, 2020. "Trends, Breaks and Persistence in Top Income Shares," Working Papers 2020/12, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    3. Antoine Bozio & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Malka Guillot & Thomas Piketty, 2020. "Predistribution vs. Redistribution: Evidence from France and the U.S," Institut des Politiques Publiques halshs-03022092, HAL.
    4. Alvaredo, Facundo & Cogneau, Denis & Piketty, Thomas, 2021. "Income inequality under colonial rule. Evidence from French Algeria, Cameroon, Tunisia, and Vietnam and comparisons with British colonies 1920–1960," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    5. Cowell, Frank A., 2014. "Piketty in the long run," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65992, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez & Emmanuel Chavez & Gerardo Esquivel, 2017. "Growth is (really) good for the (really) rich," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(12), pages 2639-2675, December.
    7. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2019. "Between Communism and Capitalism: Long-Term Inequality in Poland, 1892- 2015," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876995, HAL.
    8. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2017. "Top Incomes during Wars, Communism and Capitalism: Poland 1892-2015," Working Papers halshs-02797835, HAL.
    9. Rolf Aaberge & François Bourguignon & Andrea Brandolini & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Janet C. Gornick & John Hills & Markus Jäntti & Stephen P. Jenkins & Eric Marlier & John Micklewright & Brian Nolan, 2017. "Tony Atkinson and his Legacy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(3), pages 411-444, September.
    10. Caparoz, Marcel & Marçal, Emerson Fernandes & Mattos, Enlinson, 2019. "A time series analysis of household income inequality in Brazil 1977 to 2013," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil), vol. 73(4), December.
    11. Antoine Bozio & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Malka Guillot & Thomas Piketty, 2018. "Inequality and Redistribution in France, 1990-2018: Evidence from Post-Tax Distributional National Accounts (DINA)," Working Papers hal-02878151, HAL.
    12. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Christoph Gorgas, 2011. "The Evolution of Top Incomes in Switzerland over the 20th Century," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(IV), pages 479-519, December.
    13. Foellmi, Reto & Martinez, Isabel, 2012. "Volatile Top Income Shares in Switzerland? Reassessing the Evolution Between 1981 and 2008," Economics Working Paper Series 1227, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised Jun 2013.
    14. Facundo Alvaredo & Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2017. "Global Inequality Dynamics: New Findings from WID.world," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 404-409, May.
    15. Tuominen Elina, 2016. "Changes or levels? Reassessment of the relationship between top-end inequality and growth," Working Papers 1609, Tampere University, School of Management and Business, Economics.
    16. Katharina Jenderny, 2016. "Mobility of Top Incomes in Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(2), pages 245-265, June.
    17. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2017. "Top Incomes during Wars, Communism and Capitalism: Poland 1892-2015," PSE Working Papers halshs-02797835, HAL.
    18. Bukowski, Pawel & Novokmet, Filip, 2019. "Between communism and capitalism: long-term inequality in Poland, 1892-2015," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102834, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Kleven, Henrik J. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2018. "A special issue of the Journal of Public Economics: Honoring the work of Sir Anthony B. Atkinson (1944–2017)," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1-3.
    20. Paweł Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2021. "Between communism and capitalism: long-term inequality in Poland, 1892–2015," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 187-239, June.

    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:mil:wpdepa:2012-01. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/damilit.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: DEMM Working Papers The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask DEMM Working Papers to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/damilit.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.