Income Distribution Theory: A Survey of Selected Recent Contributions

  • Thomas Piketty
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The field of income distribution theory has probably received more attention during the past five years than it had received during the previous 15–20 years. These developments were mostly motivated by the urgent need to move beyond representative-agent models and the development of new tools allowing tractable equilibrium modelling of heterogeneity between agents, but probably also by the dramatic recent development of income inequality both in developed and developing countries.


Interest Rate Income Distribution Wage Earner Wealth Distribution Credit Constraint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acemoglu, D. (1994) ‘Public Policy in a Model of Long-Term Unemployment’, Cambridge, MA: MIT mimeo.Google Scholar
  2. Aghion, P. and P. Bolton (1991) ‘A Trickle-Down Theory of Growth Development with Debt Overhang’, LSE, mimeo.Google Scholar
  3. Akerlof, G. and J. Yellen (1990) ‘The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment’, Quarterly Journal of Economic, vol. 10, pp. 255–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arrow, K. (1973), ‘The Theory of Discrimination’, in Ashenfelter, D. and Rees, A. (eds) Discrimination in Labor Markets Princeton: Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Banerjee, A. and A. Newman (1993) ‘Occupational Choice and the Process of Development’, Journal of Political Economy, 101 (April), pp. 274–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Banerjee, A. and A. Newman (1994), ‘Poverty, Incentives and Development’, American Economic Review, vol. 84–2, pp. 211–16.Google Scholar
  7. Benabou, R. (1993a), ‘Workings of a City: Location, Education, Production’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 108, pp. 619–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Benabou, R. (1993b), ‘Heterogeneity, Stratification and Growth’, New York University, mimeo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benabou, R. (1994), ‘Human Capital, Inequality and Growth: the Local Connection’, European Economic Review, vol. 38, pp. 817–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bernanke, R. and R. Gertler (1993), ‘The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality’, Princeton and New York Universities, mimeo.Google Scholar
  11. Boudon, R. (1973) L’inégalité des chances (Paris: Armand Colin, Collection ‘U’).Google Scholar
  12. Bourguignon, F. (1981) ‘Pareto-Superiority of Unegalitarian Equilibria in Stiglitz’s Model of Wealth Distribution with Convex Savings Function’, Econometrica, vol. 49, pp. 1469–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Card, D. and A. Krueger (1992) ‘Does School Quality Matter?’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 100, 1–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coate, S. and G. Loury (1993) ‘Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?’, American Economic Review, vol. 83, pp. 1220–40.Google Scholar
  15. Cooper, S., S. Durlauf and P. Johnson (1994) ‘On the Transmission of Economic Status across Generations’, University of Wisconsin, mimeo.Google Scholar
  16. Durlauf, S. (1993) ‘A Theory of Persistent Inequality’, University of Wisconsin, mimeo.Google Scholar
  17. Eissa, N. and J. Liebman (1995) ‘Labor Supply Response to the EITC’, Harvard University, mimeo.Google Scholar
  18. Fernandez, R. and R. Rogerson (1993a) ‘Keeping People Out: Income Distribution, Zoning and the Quality of Public Education’, New York University, mimeo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fernandez, R. and R. Rogerson (1993b) ‘The Political Economy of Education Finance Reform’, mimeo.Google Scholar
  20. Galor, O. and J. Zeira (1993), ‘Income Distribution and Macroeconomics’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 60, pp. 35–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kahneman, D., J. Knetsch and R. Thaler (1986), ‘Fairness as a Constraint on Profit-Seeking: Entitlements on the Market’, American Economic Review, vol. 76, pp. 728–41.Google Scholar
  22. Kramarz, F., S. Lolliven and L. LePele (1995) ‘Wage Inequalities and Firm-Specific Competition in France, Paris: INSEE, mimeoGoogle Scholar
  23. Kremer, M. (1995), ‘The Dynamics of Inequality: US vs Brazil’, mimeo.Google Scholar
  24. Kremer, M. and E. Maskin (1995), ‘Segregation by Skill and the Rise in Inequality’, Harvard University and MIT, mimeo.Google Scholar
  25. Legros, P. and A. Newman (1994) ‘Wealth Effects and the Theory of Organisation’, Columbia University, mimeo.Google Scholar
  26. Meyer, C. (1995), ‘Income Distribution and Family Structure’, PhD dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  27. Phelps, E. (1968) ‘The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism’, American Economic Review, vol. 62, pp. 657–61.Google Scholar
  28. Piketty, T. (1992), ‘Imperfect Capital Markets and Persistence of Initial Wealth Inequalities’, Working Paper, LSE/STICERD TE/92/255Google Scholar
  29. revised version, ‘The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit-Rationing’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 64, 1997, pp. 173–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Piketty, T. (1995), ‘Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 110, pp. 551–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Roemer, J. and R. Wets (1994), ‘Neighbourhood Effects on Belief Formation and the Distribution of Education and Income’, University of California at Davis.Google Scholar
  32. USGPO (1966) Equality of Educational Opportunity (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Piketty
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
  2. 2.CNRS-CepremapParisFrance

Personalised recommendations