Growth, Income Distribution, and the ‘Entrepreneurial State’

March 11, 2017

In this paper, we introduce a twofold role for the public sector in the Goodwin (1967) model of the growth cycle.

The government collects income taxes in order to: (a) invest in infrastructure capital, which directly affects the production possibilities of the economy; (b) finance publicly funded research and development (R&D), which augments the growth rate of labor productivity. We study two versions of the model: with and without induced technical change, that is with or without a feedback from the labor share to labor productivity growth. In both cases we show that: (i) provided that the output-elasticity of infrastructure is greater than the elasticity of labor productivity growth to public R&D, there exists a tax rate that maximizes the long-run labor share, and it is smaller than the growth-maximizing tax rate; (ii) the longrun share of labor is always increasing in the share of public spending in infrastructure; (iii) different taxation schemes have an impact on the stability of growth cycles.

Authors: Daniele Tavani, Luca Zamparelli
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