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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 life cycle earnings mobility and redistributive politics. The model demonstrates that when an economy features a high opportunity of upward mobility and high risk of downward mobility, it attains a unique equilibrium where unskilled, low-income agents support a low redistribution because of the hope of upward mobility in future. In contrast, the economy attains multiple equilibria when mobility opportunity and risk are low: one is an unskilled-majority equilibrium defined by low mobility and the other is a skilled-majority equilibrium defined by high mobility. The paper gives a comparison between the political equilibrium and the social plannerfs allocation in terms of mobility, and shows that the skilled-majority equilibrium realizes mobility close to the optimal one.

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File URL: http://www2.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/global/dp/0818R4.pdf
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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.4.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:0818r4
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/Email:


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  1. Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C. & Atkinson, A.B., 1991. "Empirical Studies of Earnings Mobility," DELTA Working Papers 91-14, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  3. Arawatari, Ryo & Ono, Tetsuo, 2013. "Inequality, mobility and redistributive politics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 353-375.
  4. Kaiji Chen & Zheng Song, 2014. "Markovian Social Security in Unequal Societies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 982-1011, October.
  5. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2010. "Political intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 628-637, October.
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  7. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
  8. Dirk Niepelt & Martín Gonzalez-Eiras, 2011. "Ageing, Government Budgets, Retirement, and Growth," Working Papers 11.06, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
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  10. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2012. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico‐Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2785-2803, November.
  11. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, . "Early retirement," Working Papers 2003-03, FEDEA.
  12. 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.
  13. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2006. "Early Retirement and Social Security: A Long Term Perspective," CSEF Working Papers 165, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  14. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe, 1997. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution : the POUM Hypothesis," IDEI Working Papers 78, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 1999.
  15. Martín Gonzalez Eiras, 2010. "Social Security as Markov Equilibrium in OLG Models: A Note," Working Papers 105, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2010.
  16. Song, Zheng, 2008. "Persistent Ideology and the Determination of Public Policies over Time," MPRA Paper 10364, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Grossman,G.M. & Helpman,E., 1996. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governements," Papers 2-96, Tel Aviv.
  18. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2010. "Retirement and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 10-04-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  19. Gonzalez-Eiras, Marti­n & Niepelt, Dirk, 2008. "The future of social security," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 197-218, March.
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  21. Arawatari, Ryo & Ono, Tetsuo, 2009. "A second chance at success: A political economy perspective," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1249-1277, May.
  22. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
  23. Song, Zheng, 2008. "The Dynamics of Inequality and Social Security in General Equilibrium," MPRA Paper 10365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  24. Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "Growth, learning and redistributive policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 263-297, November.
  25. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. 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.
  27. Azariadis, Costas & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Fiscal Constitutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 255-281, April.
  28. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1996. "Endogenous public policy and multiple equilibria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 653-662, April.
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