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GEMF

Grupo de Estudos Monetários e Financeiros

Estudos do GEMF, N.º 11 de 2011

  

Inequality and Growth in Portugal: A Time Series Analysis

(Publicado em Revista Portuguesa de Estudos Regionais n.º 37, 2014)


João A. S. Andrade
Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra

Adelaide P. S. Duarte
Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra

Marta C. N. Simões

Faculdade de Economia/GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra

Abstract:
Following the recent resurgence of interest on the relationship between inequality and growth and the considerable debate that remains on its sign, we examine this nexus for Portugal during the period 1985–2007 using a time series approach. The results, using different time series methodologies, suggest that earnings inequality has a negative impact on output thus confirming the view that inequality is detrimental to growth. Moreover, according to the results from the impulse response functions based on the preferred trivariate structural VAR model, these effects last in some cases for three years after the inequality shock. As far as education is concerned, the third variable apart from output and inequality considered in our SVAR models, the evidence does not support the theoretical prediction that more inequality reduces human capital accumulation, pointing in fact in the opposite direction: an increase in earnings inequality leads to more educated workers. Thus, the evidence of a negative influence of inequality on output seems to be explained not by the fact that more inequality leads to less human capital accumulation but because it implies more redistribution, with the associated distortionary effects from taxes on investment.

JEL Classification: O12.

Keywords:
Output, inequality, education, Hendry-Krolzig methodology, causality, SVAR.

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