Is Inequality Harmful for Growth? Theory and Evidence
Is inequality harmful for growth? We suggest that it is. In a society where distributional conflict is important, political decisions are likely to produce economic policies that allow private individuals to appropriate less of the returns to activities which promote growth, such as the accumulation of capital and productive knowledge. In this paper we formulate a theoretical model that formally captures this idea. The model has a politico-economic equilibrium, which determines a sequence of growth rates depending on structural parameters, political institutions and initial conditions. We then confront the model's testable empirical implications with two sets of data. The first data set pools historical evidence - dating back to the mid-nineteenth century - from the US and eight European countries. A second data set contains post-war evidence from a broad cross-section of developed and less developed countries. In both samples we find a statistically significant and quantitatively important negative relation between inequality and growth. After a comprehensive sensitivity analysis, we conclude that our findings are not distorted by measurement error, reverse causation, hetroscedasticity or other econometric problems.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 1991|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA|
Web page: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/iber/wps/econwp.html
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: IBER, F502 Haas Building, University of California, Berkeley CA 94720-1922|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1988.
"Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income,"
RCER Working Papers
131, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1076-1107, October.
- Greenwood, Jeremy & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1988. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," Working Papers 88-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 1989. "Financial Development, Growth, and the Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 3189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Greenwood, J. & Jovanovic, B., 1990. "Financial Development, Growth, And The Distribution Of Income," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9002, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
- Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
- Barro, Robert J. & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992.
"Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
- Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013.
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,"
2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Sergio Rebelo, 1999.
"Long Run Policy Analysis and Long Run Growth,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2114, David K. Levine.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
- Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
- Paul M Romer, 1999.
"Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
2232, David K. Levine.
- Terrones, M., 1990. "Influence Activities And Economic Growth," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9006, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- Romer, P.M., 1988. "Capital Accumulation In The Theory Of Long Run Growth," RCER Working Papers 123, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Klepper, Steven & Leamer, Edward E, 1984. "Consistent Sets of Estimates for Regressions with Errors in All Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 163-83, January.
- Robert J. Barro, 1989.
"Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1985. "Growth, equality, and history," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 341-377, October.
- Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1988. "A New Set of International Comparisons of Real Product and Price Levels Estimates for 130 Countries, 1950-1985," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucb:calbwp:91-155. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.