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Sustainable Heterogeneity: Inequality, Growth, and Social Welfare in a Heterogeneous Population

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  • Harashima, Taiji

Abstract

This paper studies social welfare in a heterogeneous population under the criteria of efficiency and sustainable heterogeneity. As is well known, heterogeneity in time preference results in substantial inequality. This paper shows that, even if households have heterogeneous preferences, there is a balanced growth path on which all the optimality conditions of all heterogeneous households are equally and indefinitely satisfied, and heterogeneity is sustainable on this path. The existence of a unique sustainable path will shed new light on social welfare issues, but this path cannot necessarily be naturally obtained by relying only on markets. Sustainable heterogeneity is politically fragile and requires rational―not unconditional―sacrifice and altruism, and interventions by the authority are justified. Sustainable heterogeneity indicates that globalization should be accompanied by measures that support developing countries and that a GDP modified for measures of sustainable heterogeneity may more correctly measure people’s “happiness.” However, it also indicates that inequality is necessary for sustainability and a unique sustainable level of inequality exists.

Suggested Citation

  • Harashima, Taiji, 2010. "Sustainable Heterogeneity: Inequality, Growth, and Social Welfare in a Heterogeneous Population," MPRA Paper 22521, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Harashima, Taiji, 2018. "Bubbles and Bluffs: Risk Lovers Can Survive Economically," MPRA Paper 83615, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Harashima, Taiji, 2016. "A Theory of Deflation: Can Expectations Be Influenced by a Central Bank?," MPRA Paper 71276, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Harashima, Taiji, 2015. "Why Has the U.S. Current Account Deficit Persisted? International Sustainable Heterogeneity under Floating Exchange Rates," MPRA Paper 67177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Harashima, Taiji, 2012. "Sustainable Heterogeneity as the Unique Socially Optimal Allocation for Almost All Social Welfare Functions," MPRA Paper 40938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Harashima, Taiji, 2011. "A Mechanism of Inflation Differentials and Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area," MPRA Paper 28121, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Harashima, Taiji, 2014. "Time Preference Shocks," MPRA Paper 60205, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Harashima, Taiji, 2016. "The Cause of the Great Recession: What Caused the Downward Shift of the GDP Trend in the United States?," MPRA Paper 69215, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Harashima, Taiji, 2014. "The Representative Household Assumption Requires sustainable Heterogeneity in Dynamic Models," MPRA Paper 57520, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Harashima, Taiji, 2015. "Bubbles, Bluffs, and Greed," MPRA Paper 64361, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Harashima, Taiji, 2016. "Live and Let Live: Sustainable Heterogeneity Will Generally Prevail," MPRA Paper 71887, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Harashima, Taiji, 2015. "A Way Out of the Euro Crisis: Fiscal Transfers Are Indispensable for Sustainability in a Union with Heterogeneous Members," MPRA Paper 63025, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Harashima, Taiji, 2013. "Sustainable Heterogeneity in Exogenous Growth Models: The Socially Optimal Distribution by Government’s Intervention," MPRA Paper 51653, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sustainability; Heterogeneity; Inequality; Growth; Social welfare; Altruism; Globalization; International trade;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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