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Economic Growth and Income Inequality in Resource Countries: Theory and Evidence

Arsham Reisinezhad
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Arsham Reisinezhad: PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics

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Abstract: While much ink has been spilled over the study of income inequality and economic growth, little attention has been paid to investigate the interaction between these variables of interest in resource-dependent economies. The present paper develops a two-sector small open economy model including two groups of households (the rich and the poor). The mechanism is derived by two forces: 1) a composition of productivity growth with Learning by Doing (LBD) and capital accumulation with absorptive capacity constraints on the supply-side 2) a change in the relative demand of the non-traded to the traded goods on the demand-side. Applying a panel data approach for a sample database of 40 countries over the period 1975-2015, I evaluate the predictions of my theory. The main findings are fourfold. In response to a windfall income, first, the natural resource curse (i.e. the Dutch disease and Deindustrialization) appears. Second, income inequality rises if the non-traded sector is relatively capital-intensive while income inequality falls if the non-traded sector is relatively labor-intensive. Third, rising (falling) income inequality tends to deepen (moderate) the natural resource curse. Fourth, natural resource curse and income inequality change are relatively more intensive in a democratic country than in a non-democratic country.

Keywords: Windfall Income; Economic Growth; Income Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-02-13
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