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Inequality and Growth Revisited

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  • Figini, P

Abstract

In recent years, a vast literature on the links between inequality and growth has flourished. The emerging consensus is that equality enhances growth, but disagreement exists on the underlying mechanisms. In this paper, we aim to provide the reader with new empirical evidence from a cross sectional analysis of countries. First, we try to improve upon the accuracy of previous empirical models by using new data on inequality extracted from Deininger and Squire (1996). Second, we test alternative specifications of the relationship between growth, redistribution and inequality. Third, we test the relevance of the theoretical models proposed in the literature to explain the inequality-growth relationship. Results suggest that first, the link between inequality and growth is robust to measurement errors in inequality. Second, the fertility-education issue is the main explanatory factor of the link. Third, we find a non-linear relationship between inequality, redistribution and growth, which tends to confirm Bénabou's model (1996). However, there is also evidence to support an alternative explanation, in which there is reverse causality between redistribution and inequality: accordingly, countries would be considered unequal because of their weak redistributive policies.

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  • Figini, P, 1999. "Inequality and Growth Revisited," Trinity Economics Papers 992, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:992
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    Cited by:

    1. Lubimov, I.L. (Любимов, И.Л.), 2016. "Inequality and Growth: Theoretical Aspects of Dependence [Неравенство И Экономический Рост: Теоретические Аспекты Зависимости]," Working Papers 2042, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    2. Benabou, Roland, 2005. "Inequality, Technology and the Social Contract," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1595-1638, Elsevier.
    3. Bozhechkova, Aleksandra & Vashchelyuk, Natalia & Nazarov, Pavel & Perevyshin, Yuri & Tumanova, Elena & Shagas, Natalia, "undated". "Modeling the Dynamic of Economic Potential," Published Papers nvg143, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
    4. Drosdowski, Thomas, 2005. "Democracy Deficits, Inequality and Pollution. A Politico-Economic Analysis," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-323, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    5. Laura De Dominicis & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & Henri L. F. De Groot, 2008. "A Meta‐Analysis On The Relationship Between Income Inequality And Economic Growth," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(5), pages 654-682, November.
    6. Joan Esteban & Laurence Kranich, 2003. "The Social Contracts with Endogenous Sentiments," Working Papers 71, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Qin, Duo & Cagas, Marie Anne & Ducanes, Geoffrey & He, Xinhua & Liu, Rui & Liu, Shiguo, 2009. "Effects of income inequality on China's economic growth," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 69-86.
    8. Grossmann, Volker, 2003. "Income inequality, voting over the size of public consumption, and growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 265-287, June.
    9. International Monetary Fund, 2003. "Income Inequality and Redistributive Government Spending," IMF Working Papers 2003/014, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Wealth Distribution and the Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from the United States," MPRA Paper 11534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Desdoigts, Alain & Moizeau, Fabien, 2001. "Multiple politico-economic regimes, inequality and growth," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,65, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    12. Drosdowski, Thomas, 2006. "Does Democratization Benefit the Environment in the Long-Run in the Presence of Inequality?," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-347, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    13. Esfahani, Hadi Salehi & Ramirez, Maria Teresa, 2003. "Institutions, infrastructure, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 443-477, April.

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    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution

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