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Political rivalry effects on human capital accumulation and inequality: a New Political Economy approach

  • Elena Sochirca

    ()

    (FEP)

  • Oscar Afonso

    ()

    (FEP)

  • Sandra Silva

    ()

    (FEP)

Abstract We propose an endogenous growth model with elements of new political economy in order to study the effects of political institutions and political rivalry on human capital accumulation and income inequality. Relating to the increasing literature on the relationship between income redistribution, inequality and growth, and on the political economy of growth, our model shows that (i) non-distortionary redistribution via public education equalizes income levels and increases human capital accumulation; (ii) political rivalry produces negative outcomes in all dimensions of the considered economic interactions. In particular, we find that occurring episodes of political rivalry reduce human capital accumulation through their negative impact on public investments in education, workers' wages and individual learning choice, and increase income inequality. As regards the role of political institutions, our analysis suggests that the elasticities of human capital accumulation with respect to public and private investments have crucial implications for public policies and require particular attention to the political rivalry effects.

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Paper provided by Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto in its series FEP Working Papers with number 466.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:466
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  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026, October.
  2. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
  3. Perotti, Roberto, 1992. "Income Distribution, Politics, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 311-16, May.
  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pedro Carneiro & Costas Meghir & Matthias Parey, 2007. "Maternal education, home environments and the development of children and adolescents," IFS Working Papers W07/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 2003. "Public education and income inequality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 289-300, June.
  7. Paul, Gilles Saint & Verdier, Thierry, 1996. "Inequality, redistribution and growth: A challenge to the conventional political economy approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 719-728, April.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  9. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
  11. Sayer, Stuart, 2000. " Issues in New Political Economy: An Overview," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 513-26, December.
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