World Interest Rates, Inequality and Growth: an Empirical Analysis of the Galor-Zeira Model

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Abstract

Following Galor and Zeira (1993), we study the effect of the world interest rate on inequality and growth for the period 1985-2005, characterized by falling world interest rates and cross-country income polarization. We argue that the two phenomena are related on the basis of the following findings, which are in accordance with the predictions of the Galor and Zeira model: 1) a reduction of the world interest rates increases inequality in rich countries and decreases inequality in poor countries; 2) inequality has a negative (and significant) effect on human capital accumulation in rich countries and a positive (but mostly not significant) effect in poor countries; 3) human capital positively affects GDP in both group of countries, in particular with a higher marginal effect in poor countries. The overall effect of these facts is polarization in the world income distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDISCUSSION PAPERS
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameDISCUSSION PAPERS

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