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Inverted u-shaped relationship between inequality and economic performance

  • Yuichiro Matsumoto


    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

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    This paper shows that in a borrowing-constrained economy, a median level of inequality stimulates investment, whereas low and high levels of inequality dampen investment. This nonlinearity is a result of two effects. There are more rich individuals in an equal economy than in an unequal economy. Therefore, more individuals can invest. However, in an equal economy, rich individuals have less wealth than they would in an unequal economy, which can dampen investment. My paper shows that these two effects produce nonlinearity if investment is indivisible.

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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 14-19.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1419
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    1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    2. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-40, February.
    3. Virgiliu Midrigan & Daniel Yi Xu, 2014. "Finance and Misallocation: Evidence from Plant-Level Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 422-58, February.
    4. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 74, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    5. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
    6. Francisco J. Buera & Benjamin Moll, 2012. "Aggregate Implications of a Credit Crunch," NBER Working Papers 17775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," NBER Working Papers 12129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    10. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Benjamin Moll, 2010. "Why Does Misallocation Persist?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 189-206, January.
    11. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
    12. Maitreesh Ghatak & Nien-Huei Jiang, 2000. "A Simple Model of Inequality, Occupational Choice, and Development," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0007, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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