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Economic growth and inequality patterns in the presence of costly technology adoption and uncertainty

Author

Listed:
  • Ziv Chinzara

    () (QUT)

  • Radhika Lahiri

    () (QUT)

Abstract

We develop a stochastic endogenous growth model to explain the diversity in growth and inequality patterns and the non-convergence of incomes in transitional economies where an underdeveloped financial sector imposes an implicit, fixed cost on the diversification of idiosyncratic risk. In the model endogenous growth occurs through physical and human capital deepening, with the latter being the more dominant element. We interpret the fixed cost as 'learning by doing' cost for entrepreneurs who undertake risk in the absence of well developed financial markets and institutions that help diversify such risk. As such, this cost may be interpreted as the implicit returns foregone due to the lack of diversification opportunities that would otherwise have been available, had such institutions been present. The analytical and numerical results of the model suggest three growth outcomes depending on the productivity differences between the projects and the fixed cost associated with the more productive project. We label these outcomes as poverty trap, dual economy and balanced growth. Further analysis of these three outcomes highlights the existence of a diversity within diversity. Specifically, within the 'poverty trap' and 'dual economy' scenarios growth and inequality patterns differ, depending on the initial conditions. This additional diversity allows the model to capture a richer range of outcomes that are consistent with the empirical experience of several transitional economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ziv Chinzara & Radhika Lahiri, 2012. "Economic growth and inequality patterns in the presence of costly technology adoption and uncertainty," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 280, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:280
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    File URL: http://external-apps.qut.edu.au/business/documents/discussionPapers/2012/WP280.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Overlapping generations model; costly technology adoption; uncertainty; economic growth; inequality;

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