Nierówności społeczne i wzrost gospodarczy. Krótki przegląd teorii i badań empirycznych
Inequality and Economic Growth. A Brief Overview of Theories and Empirical Research
Na początku artykułu omówiono modele wzrostu gospodarczego. Szczególną uwagę poświęcono modelowi Kuznetsa. Następnie zaprezentowano wpływ wzrostu gospodarczego na poziom nierówności społecznych i ubóstwa na świecie oraz wpływ poziomu nierówności na stopę wzrostu gospodarczego. Przedstawiono również próbę wprowadzenia niejednorodnego agenta do neoklasycznych modeli wzrostu oraz znaczenie zmiennych demograficznych w modelach wzrostu.
The author presents a brief overview of theories and empirical studies with regard to connections between inequality, income distribution and economic growth. Up until the 1990s, the contemporary economic growth theory seemed to have little to say about the impact that inequality or the distributions of income might have on the overall efficiency of an economy. The 'mainstream' growth theory was based on a 'representative agent', where the problem of economic growth was studied as if society were monolithic. The only model which showed linkages between growth and income distribution was the Kuznets hypothesis. The inverted-U relationship between growth and inequality suggested by Kuznets was not, however, proved by results of the recent research. When we say that incomes in a certain population have grown, we are only referring to the growth rate of the mean of the distribution of incomes across that population, ignoring any changes in the rest of the distribution. While investigating inequality data we can observe that poverty rates have declined substantially over the last years in the countries with positive growth rate. Moreover, the income inequality indexes show substantial reductions in global income inequality. In 1990s new models combining growth and inequality were presented. The mechanisms through which inequality was suggested to affect growth relied on channels in which inequality affects growth through capital markets, through the political system, and through social circumstances. Especially interesting seems to be the model which links inequality and growth through differential fertility and the accumulation of human capital. The model uses neoclassical production function and combines it with endogenous fertility and income inequality. Both theory and empirical evidence suggest that there is a strong negative relation between poverty and growth, but there is no convincing evidence that inequality affects growth. The debate, however, is not over and - because of so many intriguing questions still waiting to be answered - inequality is unlikely to go out of researches' sight in the foreseeable future. (original abstract)
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