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Occupational Diversity And Endogenous Inequality

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Author Info

  • Dilip Mookherjee

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Debraj Ray

    (1Boston University and New York University)

Abstract

A traditional view of markets is that they equalize wealth across individuals. A more recent literature suggests that markets are inherently disequalizing. A third viewpoint argues that initial history is crucial in determining whether inequalities persist or not. By constructing a theory of equilibrium investment allocation between human capital and financial assets in the presence of borrowing constraints, we address these views in a unified way. Two attributes of occupational diversity turn out to be central to our understanding: span, the range of training costs across occupations, and richness, the variety of different training costs contained within the span. The former is used to generate a necessary and sufficient condition for markets to be disequalizing, while the latter is shown to be directly connected to the question of history-dependence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2006-055.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2006-055

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References

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  1. Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Sefton, James & Weale, Martin, 2001. "Simulating the transmission of wealth inequality via bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 93-128, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
  7. Mookherjee, Dilip & Ray, Debraj, 2002. "Persistent Inequality," Discussion Paper 57, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  8. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  9. Lloyd-Ellis, Huw & Bernhardt, Dan, 2000. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 147-68, January.
  10. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "On the Rise and Fall of Class Societies," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-173, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  13. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  14. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 2000. "Endogenous Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 743-59, October.
  15. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "Equilibrium Income Inequality among Identical Agents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1047-64, October.
  16. Luisa Fuster, 2000. "Capital Accumulation in an Economy with Dynasties and Uncertain Lifetimes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 650-674, October.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  18. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Kim, Young Chul, 2009. "Lifetime Network Externality and the Dynamics of Group Inequality," MPRA Paper 18767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2007. "The Long-run Determinants of Inequality: What Can We Learn from Top Income Data?," Working Paper Series 721, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Apr 2008.
  3. Kim, Dong-Hyeon & Lin, Shu-Chin, 2011. "Nonlinearity in the financial development–income inequality nexus," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 310-325, September.
  4. Guido Cozzi & Fabio Privileggi, 2009. "The fractal nature of inequality in a fast growing world: new version," Working Papers 2009_30, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  5. Andrea, Canidio, 2009. "The determinants of long-run inequality," MPRA Paper 25137, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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