Inequality and the Process of Economic Growth: Threshold Effects of Human Capital to Physical Capital Ratio
42 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2014
Date Written: June 30, 2011
This paper explores the relationship between inequality and growth in the context of a unified empirical approach suggested by the theoretical model of Galor and Moav (2004). Based on that model, we construct a new measure, the human capital to physical capital ratio, which is used to study threshold effects in the inequality-growth relationship. Methodologically, we use threshold regression with instruments, developed by Caner and Hansen (2004), which allows us to endogenously identify the threshold human capital to physical capital ratio that alters the inequality-growth relationship. Using data on 82 countries, our results show that there exist significant threshold effects, with a level of the human capital to physical capital ratio below which the effect of inequality on growth is positive and significant, whereas it is negative and significant above it. We also test the robustness of our results using different measures of the human capital to physical capital ratio. These results are consistent with the theoretical predictions of Galor and Moav (2004).
Keywords: Growth, Inequality, Threshold Effects, Human Capital, Physical Capital
JEL Classification: D63, J24, O1, O15, O16
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