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Income Inequality, Taxation, and Growth

  • Kula, Maria C.

    (Brown University)

  • Millimet, Daniel L.

    (Southern Methodist University)

Several recent papers addressing the role of income distribution in the growth process have focused on the role income inequality plays in the political process. Inequality is linked to pressure for high, redistributionary tax rates, which lead to low investment and therefore growth. Empirically, the correlation between high inequality and low growth has been robust. However, the intermediate step linking inequality to high taxes has not been empirically supported, and the link between taxes and growth has been found to be the opposite of that suggested by theory: an empirically robust relationship has been found between high taxes and growth. This paper presents a simple model which reconciles the intuitively appealing taxation approach to economic growth with these seemingly contradictory empirical findings.

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File URL: ftp://ftp1.economics.smu.edu/WorkingPapers/1999/millimet/ineq14.pdf
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Paper provided by Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 001.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 22 Sep 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:001
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496
Phone: 214-768-2715
Fax: 214-768-1821
Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics

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  1. 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.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  3. Brooks, Nancy & Sethi, Rajiv, 1997. "The Distribution of Pollution: Community Characteristics and Exposure to Air Toxics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 233-250, February.
  4. Lambert, Peter J. & Millimet, Daniel L. & Slottje, Daniel, 2003. "Inequality aversion and the natural rate of subjective inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1061-1090, May.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  6. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  7. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
  8. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "Growth, learning and redistributive policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 263-297, November.
  11. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe A, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: the POUM Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. David Autor & Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," Working Papers 756, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  13. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Allan Drazen, 1989. "Why are Stabilizations Delayed?," NBER Working Papers 3053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "The median voter hypothesis, income inequality and income," HEW 0305001, EconWPA.
  17. Perotti, Roberto, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 755-76, October.
  18. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
  19. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1999. "Do Community Characteristics Influence Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 691-716, April.
  20. Lee, Woojin & Roemer, John E, 1998. " Income Distribution, Redistributive Politics, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 217-40, September.
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