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A Political Economy Model of Earnings Mobility and Redistribution Policy

  • Ryo Arawatari

    ()

    (Graduate School of Economics, Nagoya University)

  • Tetsuo Ono

    ()

    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

This paper presents a politico-economic model that includes a mutual link between earnings mobility and redistributive politics. The model demonstrates that an economy attains a unique, unskilled-majority equilibrium where unskilled, lowincome agents support a low, rather than a high, redistribution when the economy is featured by a high opportunity of upward mobility and downward mobility risk. In contrast, the economy attains multiple equilibria when mobility opportunity and risk are low: one is an unskilled-majority equilibrium supporting high redistribution and the other is a skilled-majority equilibrium supporting low redistribution. Which equilibrium arises depends on the expectations of agents. The paper gives a comparison between the political equilibrium outcome and the social plannerfs allocation in terms of mobility and redistribution policy.

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Paper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 08-18-Rev.3.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision: Aug 2011
Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:0818r3
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/Email:


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  1. Gonzalez-Eiras, Martin & Niepelt, Dirk, 2007. "The Future of Social Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 6245, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2008. "A Second Chance at Success: A Political Economy Perspective?," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-04, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  3. Gonzalez-Eiras, Martín & Niepelt, Dirk, 2012. "Ageing, government budgets, retirement, and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 97-115.
  4. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe A, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: the POUM Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hassler, John & Mora, José V Rodríguez & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2001. "The Survival of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Song, Zheng, 2008. "The Dynamics of Inequality and Social Security in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 10365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2011. "Social security as Markov equilibrium in OLG models: a note," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(3), pages 549-552, July.
  9. Conde-Ruiz, José Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2000. "Early Retirement," CEPR Discussion Papers 2589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1998. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1299-1329, September.
  11. Song, Zheng & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2007. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico-Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," Memorandum 05/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  12. Lorenzo Forni, 2005. "Social Security as Markov Equilibrium in OLG Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 178-194, January.
  13. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2005. "Early Retirement and Social Security: A Long Term Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 1571, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2010. "Retirement and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 10-04, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  15. Hassler, John & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2003. "Democratic Public Good Provision," CEPR Discussion Papers 4044, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2008. "Political Intergenerational Risk Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6972, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Zheng Song, 2012. "Persistent Ideology And The Determination Of Public Policy Over Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 175-202, 02.
  18. Song, Zheng, 2008. "Persistent Ideology and the Determination of Public Policies over Time," MPRA Paper 10364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Arawatari, Ryo & Ono, Tetsuo, 2013. "Inequality, mobility and redistributive politics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 353-375.
  20. Kaiji Chen & Zheng Song, 2014. "Markovian Social Security in Unequal Societies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 982-1011, October.
  21. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  22. Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C. & Atkinson, A.B., 1991. "Empirical Studies of Earnings Mobility," DELTA Working Papers 91-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  23. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  24. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1996. "Endogenous public policy and multiple equilibria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 653-662, April.
  25. Azariadis, Costas & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Fiscal Constitutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 255-281, April.
  26. Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "Growth, learning and redistributive policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 263-297, November.
  27. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
  28. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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