Yi DingFollow

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Cem Karayalcin

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Alexander McQuoid

Third Advisor's Name

Hakan Yilmazkuday

Fourth Advisor's Name

Hassan Zahedi


Fiscal Policy, Taxation, Rule of Law, Income Inequality, Relative Status, Globalization

Date of Defense



The purpose of this dissertation is to examine three distributional issues in macroeconomics. First I explore the effects fiscal federalism on economic growth across regions in China. Using the comprehensive official data set of China for 31 regions from 1952 until 1999, I investigate a number of indicators used by the literature to measure federalism and find robust support for only one such measure: the ratio of local total revenue to local tax revenue. Using a difference-in-difference approach and exploiting the two-year gap in the implementation of a tax reform across different regions of China, I also identify a positive relationship between fiscal federalism and regional economic growth. The second paper hypothesizes that an inequitable distribution of income negatively affects the rule of law in resource-rich economies and provides robust evidence in support of this hypothesis. By investigating a data set that contains 193 countries and using econometric methodologies such as the fixed effects estimator and the generalized method of moments estimator, I find that resource-abundance improves the quality of institutions, as long as income and wealth disparity remains below a certain threshold. When inequality moves beyond this threshold, the positive effects of the resource-abundance level on institutions diminish quickly and turn negative eventually. This paper, thus, provides robust evidence about the endogeneity of institutions and the role income and wealth inequality plays in the determination of long-run growth rates. The third paper sets up a dynamic general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents to investigate the causal channels which run from a concern for international status to long-run economic growth. The simulation results show that the initial distribution of income and wealth play an important role in whether agents gain or lose from globalization.


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