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The effects of asset prices on income inequality: Redistribution policy does matter

Hyoungjong Kim and Dong-Eun Rhee

Economic Modelling, 2022, vol. 113, issue C

Abstract: Income inequality in some developed countries has been steadily increasing over the past two decades, contrasting Kuznets' hypothesis that income inequality will improve after a certain income level. During that same period, asset prices rose significantly, blamed for increases in inequality. Are rising asset prices really the cause of rising inequality? Using the data of 32 developed countries across 1980–2018, this research empirically reveals that a country's stance toward redistribution significantly determines whether asset prices affect income inequality. The results indicate that an increase in house prices significantly increases income inequality in countries with weak income redistribution policies, while asset prices do not affect income distribution in countries with strong redistribution policies. An improvement in income inequality does not occur spontaneously but requires active government intervention.

Keywords: Income inequality; Financial markets; Redistribution policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D63 E44 H23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2022.105899

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