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Economic growth and income inequality: a non-linear econometrics analysis of the SADC region, 1990–2015

Economic growth and income inequality: a non-linear econometrics analysis of the SADC region,... The authors investigate the growth–inequality relationship, using panel data from 13 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries over the period 1990–2015, to test the validity of the Kuznets and Tribble theories. Furthermore, the authors seek to determine the threshold level at which excessive growth hampers inequality.Design/methodology/approachThe panel smooth transition regression (PSTR) model has several stages. The authors applied the Lagrange multiplier (LM) test to find the appropriate transition variable amongst all candidate variables, to assess the linearity between economic growth and income inequality and to find the sequence for selecting the order m of the transition function. The authors then estimated the PSTR model, but before facilitating the results, the authors first used the wild cluster bootstrap (WCB)–LM-type test to assess the appropriateness of the selected transition.FindingsThe authors found that at lower growth, income inequality tends to be lower, while if growth increases above US$8,969, inequality tends to increase in the SADC region. The findings combine into a U-shaped relationship, contradicting the Kuznets and Tribble theories.Originality/valueThe contribution of this paper is that it becomes the first to provide the threshold level at which excessive growth increases inequality in the selected countries. This study proposes that policymakers should focus on activities aimed at stimulating growth, in other words, activities such as spending more on infrastructure, drawing up a suitable investment portfolio and spending on technological investment for countries that are below US$8,969. An improvement in these activities will create job opportunities, which in turn will add to economic growth and thus lead to lower income inequality and better social cohesion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of Economic and Management Studies Emerald Publishing

Economic growth and income inequality: a non-linear econometrics analysis of the SADC region, 1990–2015

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References (42)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-0705
DOI
10.1108/ajems-09-2020-0465
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The authors investigate the growth–inequality relationship, using panel data from 13 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries over the period 1990–2015, to test the validity of the Kuznets and Tribble theories. Furthermore, the authors seek to determine the threshold level at which excessive growth hampers inequality.Design/methodology/approachThe panel smooth transition regression (PSTR) model has several stages. The authors applied the Lagrange multiplier (LM) test to find the appropriate transition variable amongst all candidate variables, to assess the linearity between economic growth and income inequality and to find the sequence for selecting the order m of the transition function. The authors then estimated the PSTR model, but before facilitating the results, the authors first used the wild cluster bootstrap (WCB)–LM-type test to assess the appropriateness of the selected transition.FindingsThe authors found that at lower growth, income inequality tends to be lower, while if growth increases above US$8,969, inequality tends to increase in the SADC region. The findings combine into a U-shaped relationship, contradicting the Kuznets and Tribble theories.Originality/valueThe contribution of this paper is that it becomes the first to provide the threshold level at which excessive growth increases inequality in the selected countries. This study proposes that policymakers should focus on activities aimed at stimulating growth, in other words, activities such as spending more on infrastructure, drawing up a suitable investment portfolio and spending on technological investment for countries that are below US$8,969. An improvement in these activities will create job opportunities, which in turn will add to economic growth and thus lead to lower income inequality and better social cohesion.

Journal

African Journal of Economic and Management StudiesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 25, 2021

Keywords: Economic growth; Income inequality; SADC; PSTR model

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