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Inequality and economic growth: vicious or virtuous circles?

Menéndez, Ana Jesús López and Cowell, Frank (2013) Inequality and economic growth: vicious or virtuous circles? Revista Galega de Economia, 22 (2). pp. 15-36. ISSN 1132-2799

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The relationship between income inequality and economic growth has been widely studied, leading to a controversial debate. Regarding the effect of economic growth on inequality, Kuznets' inver-ted-U hypothesis (1955) suggests that inequality first rises with growth and then falls after a turning point. This model has been extended by Anand and Kanbur (1993), and its empirical applications have provided a wide variety of results, depending on the statistical information, the indicators and the estimation techni-ques. With regard to the effects of inequality on growth, on a theoretical basis the relationship could be of any sign and thus the initial works by Lewis (1954) and Kaldor (1956) defend the existence of positive ef-fects while Alesina & Rodrick (1994), Persson & Tabellini (1994), and Deininger & Squire (1998) assume a negative relationship.The diversity of theoretical assumptions and empirical evidence has stimulated the debate without achieving a consensus about the existence of vicious or virtuous circles. In this context the present paper aims to provide new evidence about the growth-inequality relationship, paying attention to the income level in a double sense. First, we introduce a classification of countries according to their inco-me levels, and second we distinguish between inequality relating to low and high incomes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Economics
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2013 15:45

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