Essays on investment, growth and income distribution

Balacharan Veeramacheneni, Florida International University


In this dissertation, I examine both theoretically and empirically the relationship between stock prices and income distribution using an endogenous growth model with social status impatience. The theoretical part looks into how status impatience and current economic status jointly determine time preference, savings, future economic status, stock prices, growth and wealth distribution in the steady state. This work builds on Burgstaller and Karayalcin (1996). More specifically, I look at (i) the effects of the distribution of status impatience levels on the distribution of steady state assets, incomes and consumption and (ii) the effects of changes in relative levels of status impatience on stock prices. Therefore, from (i) and (ii), I derive the correlation between stock prices, incomes and asset distribution. Also, the analysis of the stack market is undertaken in the presence of adjustment costs to investments. The empirical chapter looks at (i) the correlation between income inequality and long run economic growth on the one hand and (ii) the correlation between stock market prices and income inequality on the other. The role of stock prices and social status is examined to better understand the forces that enable a country to grow overtime and to determine why output per capita varies across countries. The data are from Summers and Heston (1988), Barro and Wolf (1989), Alesina and Rodrik (1994), Global financial Database (1997) and the World Bank. Data for social status are collected through a primary sample survey on the internet. Twenty-five developed and developing countries are included in the sample. The model developed in this study was specified as a system of simultaneous equations, in which per capita growth rate and income inequality were endogenous variables. Additionally, stock price index and social status measures were also incorporated. The results indicate that income inequality is inversely related to economic growth. In addition, increase in income inequality arising from higher stock prices constrains growth. Moreover, where social status is determined by income levels, it influences long run growth. Therefore, these results support findings of Persson and Tabellini (1994) and Alesina and Rodrik (1994).

Subject Area

Economics|Finance|Economic theory

Recommended Citation

Veeramacheneni, Balacharan, "Essays on investment, growth and income distribution" (1997). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9813428.