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Research Collection School Of Economics

Income Distribution

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Income Inequality, Productivity, And International Trade, Wen-Tai Hsu, Lin Lu, Pierre Picard Jul 2018

Income Inequality, Productivity, And International Trade, Wen-Tai Hsu, Lin Lu, Pierre Picard

Research Collection School Of Economics

This paper discusses the effect of income inequality on selection and aggregate productivity in a general equilibrium model with non-homothetic preferences. It shows the existence of a negative relationship between the number and quantity of products consumed by an income group and the earnings of other income groups. It also highlights the negative effect of a mean-preserving spread of income on aggregate productivity through the softening of firms’ selection. This effect is however mitigated in the presence of international trade. In a quantitative analysis, it is shown that an excessively large mean-preserving spread of income may harm the rich as ...