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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 2003, Wiley-Blackwell.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

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

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

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  5. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2003. "Persistent Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 369-393, 04.
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  8. 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.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Ray, Debraj & Streufert, Peter A, 1993. "Dynamic Equilibria with Unemployment Due to Undernourishment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 61-85, January.
  15. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1998. "Endogenous Inequality," Discussion Papers 1238, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2000. "Contractual Structure and Wealth Accumulation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1538, Econometric Society.
  17. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
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  19. 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.
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