Working Paper
Wealth Distribution, Lobbying and Economic Growth

Theory and Evidence

This paper presents a model allowing one to analyze the joint determination of inequality, taxes, human capital and growth. We consider the political economy of redistribution between three income groups in a dynamic economy. The paper seeks to explain the effect of corruptibility (exemptions) and lobby group size on policy outcomes. Theoretically, this paper provides a linkage between lobbying activities, wealth distribution and growth. By endogenizing the weights the social planner gives to their constituents, our analysis explains why the relationship between redistribution and inequality is non-monotonic. In particular, the theory predicts a non-monotonic relation between the level of education, taxation and growth. Our empirical results, moreover, confirm the conjectured effect that in economies with a higher degree of corruption and inequality, we observe a lower tax/GDP ratio, leading to a lower development of human capital and thus lower growth.