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Creditor Protection and the Dynamics of the Distribution in Oligarchic Societies


Oechslin, Manuel (2006). Creditor Protection and the Dynamics of the Distribution in Oligarchic Societies. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 264, University of Zurich.

Abstract

"This paper introduces credit market imperfections and barriers to entrepreneurship into the Ramsey growth model. It is assumed that only a small elite, the oligarchs, may run firms and that these oligarchs – when borrowing from workers – may renege on the debt contracts at low cost. In such an economy, poor contract enforcement slows down the transition towards the steady state and alters the dynamics of the distribution strongly in favour of the oligarchs. The reason is that the workers are forced to charge “low” borrowing rates in order to decrease the incumbents’ incentives to default. With dynastic preferences, low returns reduce the workers’ propensity to save; they discount future wages less and consume more out of current income. Calibrations of the model suggest that the elite’s welfare gains are large – even if the oligarchic structure were associated with substantially lower productivity growth rates. These findings point to political forces behind low financial development."

"This paper introduces credit market imperfections and barriers to entrepreneurship into the Ramsey growth model. It is assumed that only a small elite, the oligarchs, may run firms and that these oligarchs – when borrowing from workers – may renege on the debt contracts at low cost. In such an economy, poor contract enforcement slows down the transition towards the steady state and alters the dynamics of the distribution strongly in favour of the oligarchs. The reason is that the workers are forced to charge “low” borrowing rates in order to decrease the incumbents’ incentives to default. With dynastic preferences, low returns reduce the workers’ propensity to save; they discount future wages less and consume more out of current income. Calibrations of the model suggest that the elite’s welfare gains are large – even if the oligarchic structure were associated with substantially lower productivity growth rates. These findings point to political forces behind low financial development."

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2006
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:11
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52221

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