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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. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  3. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "The median voter hypothesis, income inequality and income," HEW 0305001, EconWPA.
  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. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
  9. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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 318-34, October.
  11. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe, 1997. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution : the POUM Hypothesis," IDEI Working Papers 78, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 1999.
  12. 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.
  13. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Perotti, Roberto, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 755-76, October.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  19. 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.
  20. Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "Growth, learning and redistributive policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 263-297, November.
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