Creator: Chang, Roberto Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
This paper examines the determination of the rate of growth in an economy in which two political parties, each representing a different social class, negotiate the magnitude and allocation of taxes. Taxes may increase growth if they finance public services, but reduce growth when used to redistribute income between classes. The different social classes have different preferences about growth and redistribution. The resulting conflict is resolved through the tax negotiations between the political parties. I use the model to obtain empirical predictions and policy lessons about the relationship between economic growth and income inequality. In particular, I show that, although differences in growth rates across countries may be negatively related to income inequality, redistributing wealth does not enhance growth.
Subject (JEL): D72 - Analysis of collective decision-making - Models of political processes : Rent-seeking, elections, legislatures, and voting behavior and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Kahn, James A. (James Allan) and Lim, Jong-Soo Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
This paper analyzes the political economy of growth as an issue of intergenerational distribution. The first part of the paper develops a model of endogenous growth via human capital accumulation in an overlapping generations setting. Equilibrium growth is inefficient due to the presence of an intergenerational externality. We characterize the set of Pareto efficient paths for physical and human capital accumulation, and find that there is a continuum of efficient growth rate-interest rate combinations. The preferred combination for an infinitely-lived planner will depend on the social discount rate. Competitive equilibrium with subsidized or mandated human capital accumulation may give rise to a Pareto efficient steady state, though for some parameters efficiency requires some intergenerational redistribution. We then argue that a social planner or government with an infinite horizon is incongruous in an OG model when the agents all have finite horizons. Hence the second part of the paper addresses the question of how a government whose decisionmakers reflect the finite horizons of their constituents would choose policies that affect physical and human capital accumulation. Specifically we assume that each government maximizes a weighted sum of utilities of those currently alive. Each period the government selects a policy that takes into account the effect (through state variables) on subsequent policy decisions (and hence on the welfare of the current young generation). Numerical methods involving polynomial approximations are used to compute equilibria under specific parametric assumptions. Equilibrium growth rates turn out to be substantially below efficient rates.
Keyword: Education, Growth, Political economy, Political instability, and Markov equilibrium Subject (JEL): D72 - Analysis of collective decision-making - Models of political processes : Rent-seeking, elections, legislatures, and voting behavior, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and D91 - Intertemporal choice and growth - Intertemporal consumer choice ; Life cycle models and saving