On the nature of income inequality across nations

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In this paper, we investigate the nature of income inequality across nations. First, rather than functional forms or parameter values in calibration exercises that can potentially drives results, we estimate, test, and distinguish between types of aggregate production functions currently used in the growth literature. Next, given our panel-regression estimates, we perform several exercises, such as variance decompositions, simulations and counter-factual analyses. The picture that emerges is one where countries grew in the past for different reasons, which should be an important ingredient in policy design. Although there is not a single-factor explanation for the difference in output per-worker across nations, inequality, followed by distortions to capital accumulations and them by human capital accumulation.

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