Investigating the relationship between globalization and income inequality: an application for Panel Smooth Transition Threshold Regression Model

Document Type : Research Paper



The dominant view, regarding the relationship between globalization and economic inequality which is known as Washington Consensus, believes that globalization reduces income inequality. Heckscher-Ohlin model asserts that countries engaged in trade will export a commodity which uses their abundant factor of production. Moreover, based on Stolper-Samuelson theorem removing tariff and trade barriers will reduce pay differential between factors of production within and between countries and the final result is the reduction in income-inequality within and among countries. Recent empirical results confirm that globalization alongside its positive effects leads to the increase in income inequality. This paper tries to study the nonlinear relationship between globalization and income inequality using data from 2002 till 2013 for 71 countries and applying Panel Smooth Transition regression model by choosing GDP per capita and globalization index as transition variables to test the inverted U Kuznets curve on the one hand and to study the U curve on the other. This paper shows that if wechoose real per capita income as a transition variable then we cannotreject the inverted-U Kuznets curve but if we choose globalizationindex as a transition variable then freer world result in lessinequality initially but higher inequality appears gradually.
JEL Classification: F15, D63, H53


  • Receive Date: 24 October 2015
  • Revise Date: 05 August 2016
  • Accept Date: 25 October 2016
  • First Publish Date: 21 March 2017