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Competition, human capital and income inequality with limited commitment

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  • Marimon, Ramon
  • Quadrini, Vincenzo
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    Abstract

    We develop a dynamic model with two-sided limited commitment to study how barriers to competition, such as restrictions to business start-up and non-competitive covenants, affect the incentive to accumulate human capital. When contracts are not enforceable, high barriers lower the outside value of 'skilled workers' and reduce the incentive to accumulate human capital. In contrast, low barriers can result in over-accumulation of human capital. This can be socially optimal if there are positive spillovers. A calibration exercise shows that this mechanism can account for a sizable portion of cross-country income inequality.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

    Volume (Year): 146 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 976-1008

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:3:p:976-1008

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

    Related research

    Keywords: Contract enforcement Barriers to competition Human capital Economic growth;

    References

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    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2007. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 14, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
    3. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
    4. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, December.
    5. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2008. "Against Intellectual Monopoly," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000002371, UCLA Department of Economics.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, 03.
    7. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Glenn MacDonald, 2004. "Investor Protection, Optimal Incentives, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1131-1175, August.
    8. Claudio Michelacci & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2009. "Financial Markets and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 795-827.
    9. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
    10. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explorations with a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings with Heterogeneous Agents," NBER Working Papers 6384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2010. "Limited Enforcement, Financial Intermediation, And Economic Development: A Quantitative Assessment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 785-811, 08.
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    Cited by:
    1. Espen Moen, 2012. "Knowledge spillovers in competitive search equilibrium," 2012 Meeting Papers 913, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Thomas F. Cooley & Ramon Marimon & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2013. "Risky Investments with Limited Commitment," NBER Working Papers 19594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Corbae, Dean & Marimon, Ramon, 2011. "Introduction to Incompleteness and Uncertainty in Economics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 775-784, May.

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