Trade, Income Inequality, and Government Policies: Redistribution of Income or Education Subsidies?
This paper explores the role of government policies in a situation where the wage gap between high-skilled and low-skilled workers is widening due to increasing foreign competition in the manufacturing of low-skilled intensive goods. A two-period, two-sector general equilibrium model of a small open economy is developed in which individuals choose whether to invest in skills or not. The government influences individual decision-making by redistribution of income or by subsidizing investment in skills. Both types of policies have complicated effects on income inequality and social welfare. The first policy discourages investment in skills while the latter, although successful in inducing more investment in skills, tends to be regressive by favoring those who acquire skills. Yet for a given income tax rate the Lorenz curves of the two different policies intersect. When the government maximizes social welfare education subsidies are useful only if there is a high degree of inequality aversion and financing the subsidy is not too distortive.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Findlay, Ronald & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 1983. "International Trade and Human Capital: A Simple General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(6), pages 957-78, December.
- Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1995. "On the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 249-262.
- Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, January.
- Deardorff, A.V., 1997. "International Externalities in the Use of Domestic Policies to Redistribute Income," Working Papers 405, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
- Sachs, Jeffrey D & Shatz, Howard J, 1996. "U.S. Trade with Developing Countries and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 234-39, May.
- Joel Slemrod, 1995. "Involvement, Prosperity, and Economic Growth?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 373-431.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
- Feenstra, Robert C & Hanson, Gordon H, 1996.
"Globalization, Outsourcing, and Wage Inequality,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 240-45, May.
- George J. Borjas & Valerie A. Ramey, 1995. "Foreign Competition, Market Power, and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1075-1110.
- Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), pages -, January.
- Chiu, W Henry, 1998. "Income Inequality, Human Capital Accumulation and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 44-59, January.
- Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995.
"Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
- Gerhard Glomm & B. Ravikumar, 1998. "Opting out of publicly provided services: A majority voting result," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(2), pages 187-199.
- Leamer, Edward E, 1996. "Wage Inequality from International Competition and Technological Change: Theory and Country Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 309-14, May.
- Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
- Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 755-776.
- J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
- Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7485. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.