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Inequality and aggregate savings in the neoclassical growth model

  • Reto Foellmi

Within the context of the neoclassical growth model I investigate the implications of (initial) endowment inequality when the rich have a higher marginal savings rate than the poor. More unequal societies grow faster in the transition process, and therefore exhibit a higher speed of convergence. Furthermore, there is divergence in consumption and lifetime wealth if the rich exhibit a higher intertemporal elasticity of substitution. Unlike the Solow-Stiglitz model, the steady state is always unique although the consumption function is concave.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 395.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:395
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  1. 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.
  2. Smith, Douglas, 2001. "International evidence on how income inequality and credit market imperfections affect private saving rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 103-127, February.
  3. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Growth with Many Consumers," Discussion Papers 518, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Becker, Robert A, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-82, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Bliss, Christopher, 2004. "Koopmans recursive preferences and income convergence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 124-139, July.
  7. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1975. "A Neoclassical Theory of Wealth Distribution," Munich Reprints in Economics 3386, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Caselli, G & Ventura, J, 1996. "A Representative Consumer Theory of Distribution," Papers 534, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  9. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
  10. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  11. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "Does income inequality raise aggregate saving?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 417-446, April.
  12. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1967. "Distribution of Income and Wealth Among Individuals," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 238, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Savings and Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 487, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  14. Bourguignon, Francois, 1981. "Pareto Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz' Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Saving Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1469-75, November.
  15. Sorger, Gerhard, 2002. "On the Long-Run Distribution of Capital in the Ramsey Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 226-243, July.
  16. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
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