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Inequality and growth: a review on a great open debate in economics

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  • Enea Baselgia
  • Reto Foellmi

Abstract

What is the relationship between inequality and growth? This question has occupied and fascinated social scientists for more than a century. This article critically reviews the recent empirical and theoretical literature on the complex interplay between inequality and economic growth. Inequality might come in many forms: (top) incomes, wages, wealth, land, or opportunities. At the same time, growth performance could be measured as average growth rates, variability of growth, or the potential for growth to 'take off'.

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  • Enea Baselgia & Reto Foellmi, 2022. "Inequality and growth: a review on a great open debate in economics," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2022-5, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2022-5
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    Keywords

    Economic growth; Inequality; Redistribution; Evidence; review;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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