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Functional Distribution, Land Ownership and Industrial Takeoff

  • Ennio Bilancini

    ()

  • Simone D'Alessandro

    ()

This paper investigates how the distribution of land property rights affects industrial take-off and aggregate income through the demand side. We study a stylized two sectors economy where the manufacturing sector is assumed to be constituted by a continuum of small markets producing distinct commodities. Following Murphy et al. [24] we model industrialization as the introduction of an increasing returns technology in place of a constant returns one. However, we depart from their framework by assuming income to be distributed according to functional groups’ membership (landowners, capitalists, workers). We carry out an equilibrium analysis for different levels of land ownership concentration proving that, under the specified conditions, there is a non-monotonic relation between the distribution of land property rights and both industrialization and income. We clarify that non-monotonicity arises because of the way land ownership concentration affects the level and the distribution of profits among capitalists. Our results suggest that i) both a too concentrated and a too diffused distribution of land property rights can be detrimental to industrialization, ii) landownership affects the economic performance of an industrializing country by determining industrial profits and iii) in terms of optimal land distribution there may be a tradeoff between income and industrialization.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 467.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:467
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1988. "Industrialization and the Big Push," NBER Working Papers 2708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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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  8. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1988. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 2709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Brewer, Anthony, 1998. "Luxury and Economic Development: David Hume and Adam Smith," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(1), pages 78-98, February.
  10. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2003. "Land Inequality and the Origin of Divergence and Overtaking in the Growth Process: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
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  13. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. " Social Conflict and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 125-42, March.
  14. Jeon, Yoong-Deok & Kim, Young-Yong, 2000. "Land Reform, Income Redistribution, and Agricultural Production in Korea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 253-68, January.
  15. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  16. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
  17. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
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