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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Inequality, Market Imperfections, and Collective Action Problems


In this paper we analyze the effects of wealth inequality on the provision of public goods and management of common-property resources (CPR) when there are market imperfections in inputs that are complementary in production to the collective good. We show that for public goods inequality impedes efficiency, while for use of CPRs there is an inverse U-shaped relationship between inequality and efficiency. We discuss the implications of these theoretical results for redistributive policies such as land reform.

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