Ennio Bilancini
Distribution of Agricultural Surplus and Industrial Takeoff

Abstract:This paper analyses how the distribution of agricultural product between landlords and peasants affects both industrial takeoff and aggregate income through the demand side. Using a model that builds on Murphy et al. (1989), we ?nd that the relationship between peasantsí share of agricultural product and aggregate income is either non-monotonic or positive. This induces a relationship between aggregate income and the degree of inequality which is positive under industrialization but can be either positive or negative when industrialization is absent. We also prove that, in contrast with Murphy et al. (1989), in order for industrialization to take place a middle class of land- and ?rm-owners is not required: if peasantsí share of agricultural product is large enough, then the buying power of workers of both agricultural and manufacturing sectors is sufficient to trigger industrialization.

JEL:D33; O14; Q15.
Keywords: Industrialization; Increasing Returns; Effective Demand; Income Distribution.



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