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Maximum Entropy Power Laws: An Application to the Tail of Wealth Distributions

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  • Mishael Milakovic'

Abstract

tatistical equilibrium denotes the distribution of wealth that can be achieved in the largest number of ways while satisfying a first moment constraint on the rate of growth in wealth portfolios. Maximizing entropy subject to a logarithmic constraint yields a power law distribution whose characteristic exponent depends positively on the minimum wealth level, and inversely on the rate of growth and the average number of changes in the composition of wealth portfolios. Put differently, the distribution of wealth will be more unequal the faster the rate of growth in wealth and also the higher the number of turnovers.

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  • Mishael Milakovic', 2003. "Maximum Entropy Power Laws: An Application to the Tail of Wealth Distributions," LEM Papers Series 2003/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2003/01
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    File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/2003-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-397, July.
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    4. DAVIES, JAMES B & Shorrocks, Anthony & Sandstrom, Susanna & WOLFF, EDWARD N, 2007. "The World Distribution of Household Wealth," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3jv048hx, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    5. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    6. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    7. Youngki Lee & Luis A. N. Amaral & David Canning & Martin Meyer & H. Eugene Stanley, 1998. "Universal features in the growth dynamics of complex organizations," Papers cond-mat/9804100, arXiv.org.
    8. Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Understanding the U.S. distribution of wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 22-36.
    9. Brock, W A, 1999. "Scaling in Economics: A Reader's Guide," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 409-446, September.
    10. Oulton, Nicholas, 1976. "Inheritance and the Distribution of Wealth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 86-101, March.
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    1. repec:bla:metroe:v:68:y:2017:i:3:p:465-499 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Wealth distribution; power laws; statistical equilibrium; maximum entropy.;

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