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The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development

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  • Kremer, Michael

Abstract

This paper proposes a production function describing processes subject to mistakes in any of several tasks. It shows that high-skill workers--those who make few mistakes--will be matched together in equilibrium, and that wages and output will rise steeply in skill. The model is consistent with large income differences between countries, the predominance of small firms in poor countries, and the positive correlation between the wages of workers in different occupations within enterprises. Imperfect observability of skill leads to imperfect matching and thus to spillovers, strategic complementarity, and multiple equilibria in education. Copyright 1993, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 108 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 551-75

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:551-75

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  1. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  2. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  3. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  4. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implicationsfor Growth," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 65, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  5. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
  7. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 151-200, February.
  8. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  9. Sobel, Joel, 1992. "How to Count to One Thousand," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 1-8, January.
  10. 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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  1. Graveyard of old economic ideas - Balanced and Unb...
    by YouNotSneaky! in YouNotSneaky on 2007-03-10 22:34:00
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