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Persistent Inequality

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  • Dilip Mookherjee
  • Debraj Ray

Abstract

When human capital accumulation generates pecuniary externalities across professions, and capital markets are imperfect, persistent inequality "in utility and consumption" is inevitable in "any" steady state. This is true irrespective of the degree of divisibility in investments. However, divisibility (or fineness of occupational structure) has implications for both the multiplicity and Pareto-efficiency of steady states. Indivisibilities generate a continuum of inefficient and efficient steady states with varying "per capita" income. On the other hand, perfect divisibility typically implies the existence of a unique steady state distribution which is Pareto-efficient. Copyright The Review of Economic Studies Limited, 2003.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 369-393

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:70:y:2003:i:2:p:369-393

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References

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  1. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1999. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Discussion Papers 1289, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Majumdar, Mukul & Mitra, Tapan, 1983. "Dynamic Optimization with a Non-Convex Technology: The Case of a Linear Objective Function," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 143-51, January.
  3. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2000. "Contractual Structure and Wealth Accumulation," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 107, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1998. "Endogenous Inequality," Discussion Papers 1238, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Ljungqvist, Lars, 1993. "Economic underdevelopment : The case of a missing market for human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-239, April.
  6. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Persistent Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 369-393, 04.
  7. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2002. "Is Equality Stable?," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-121, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  8. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  9. Baland, Jean-Marie & Ray, Debraj, 1991. "Why does asset inequality affect unemployment? A study of the demand composition problem," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 69-92, January.
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  14. repec:fth:bosecd:108 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  16. Piketty, Thomas, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 173-89, April.
  17. Dechert, W. Davis & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1983. "A complete characterization of optimal growth paths in an aggregated model with a non-concave production function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 332-354, December.
  18. Maoz, Yishay D & Moav, Omer, 1999. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Process of Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 677-97, October.
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