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Economic Transition and the Distributions of Income and Wealth

Title: Economic Transition and the Distributions of Income and Wealth
Author: Francisco H.G. Ferreira
Pub. Date: 1999
Full Text: Adobe Acrobat (PDF)

This is an electronic version of the article published in the print edition of the Economics of Transition, 7 (2), 1999, pp. 377-410.

This paper relies on a model of wealth distribution dynamics and occupational choice to investigate the distributional consequences of policies and developments associated with transition from central planning to a market system.  The model suggests that even an efficient privatization designed to be egalitarian may lead to increases in inequality (and possibly poverty), both during transition and in the new steady-state.  Creation of new markets in services also supplied by the public sector may also contribute to an increase in inequality, as can labour market reforms that lead to a decompression of the earnings structure and to greater flexibility in employment.  The results underline the importance of retaining government provision of basic public goods and services; of removing barriers that prevent the participation of the poor in the new private sector; and of ensuring that suitable safety nets are in place.

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