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Growth, Income Inequality, and Fiscal Policy: What are the Relevant Tradeoffs?

  • Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa
  • Stephen Turnovsky

We develop an endogenous growth model with elastic labor supply, in which agents differ in their initial endowments of physical capital. In this context, the growth rate and the distribution of income are jointly determined. We then examine the distributional impact of different ways of financing an investment subsidy. Policies aimed at increasing the growth rate result in a more unequal distribution of pre-tax income, consistent with the positive correlation between income inequality and growth observed in the recent empirical literature. However, there is no conflict between efficiency and equity if inequality is measured in terms of the distribution of welfare. Copyright 2007 The Ohio State University.

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Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2006-27-P.

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Publication status: Published in Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Volume 39, 2007, 369-394
Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2006-27-p
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  1. Bond, Eric W. & Wang, Ping & Yip, Chong K., 1996. "A General Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Human and Physical Capital: Balanced Growth and Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 149-173, January.
  2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1993. "The Carnegie Conjecture: Some Empirical Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 413-35, May.
  3. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  4. Bénabou, Roland, 2000. "Tax And Education Policy In A Heterogeneous Agent Economy: What Levels Of Redistribution Maximize Growth And Efficiency?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2446, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
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  7. Cardia, Emanuela & Kozhaya, Norma & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J, 2003. " Distortionary Taxation and Labor Supply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 350-73, June.
  8. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
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  10. Giuseppe Bertola, 1991. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  13. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
  14. Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, . "Inequality and Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0083, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  15. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  16. 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.
  17. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Stephen Turnovsky, 2006. "Growth and income inequality: a canonical model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 25-49, 05.
  18. Yann Algan & Arnaud Cheron & Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot, 2003. "Wealth Effect on Labor Market Transitions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 156-178, January.
  19. Anthony C. Atkinson, 2003. "Income Inequality in OECD Countries: Data and Explanations," CESifo Working Paper Series 881, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
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