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Inequality, Human Capital and Development: Making the Theory Face the Facts

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  • Papageorgiou, Chris
  • Razak, Nor Azam Abdul

Abstract

Recent theoretical contributions assert that income inequality impacts negatively human capital accumulation, and consequently long-run growth. Galor and Zeira (1993) show that such a relationship works primarily through financial constraints, while de la Croix and Doepke (2003) demonstrate that the relationship could also work via differential fertility between poor and rich. In this paper, we first test the inequality-human capital-output hypothesis in a sample of 46 countries for the period 1970—2000. In the baseline estimation specification and various robustness checks, we obtain results that lend strong support to this relationship. Second, we examine which of the two mechanisms, finds more support in the data. and show evidence in favor of the differential fertility mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Papageorgiou, Chris & Razak, Nor Azam Abdul, 2009. "Inequality, Human Capital and Development: Making the Theory Face the Facts," MPRA Paper 18973, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18973
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
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    5. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. "Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-258, September.
    6. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    7. Amparo Castelló-Climent & Rafael Doménech, 2008. "Human Capital Inequality, Life Expectancy And Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 653-677, April.
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    9. Li, Hongyi & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 318-334, October.
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    14. Sylwester, Kevin, 2000. "Income inequality, education expenditures, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 379-398, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jun, Bogang & Hwang, Won-Sik, 2012. "Financial Hurdles for Human Capital Accumulation: Revisiting the Galor-Zeira Model," MPRA Paper 46317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bogang Jun & Tai-Yoo Kim, 2017. "Non-financial hurdles for human capital accumulation: landownership in Korea under Japanese rule," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(1), pages 63-92, January.
    3. Jun, Bogang & Kaltenberg, Mary & Hwang, Won-sik, 2017. "How inequality hurts growth: Revisiting the Galor-Zeira model through a Korean case," MERIT Working Papers 034, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; financial constraints; fertility differentials; human capital; economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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