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Human Capital and Predation: A Positive Theory of Educational Policy

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Abstract

This paper offers an explanation for observed differences across countries in educational policies and in resulting interpersonal distributions of human capital. We analyse a general-equilibrium model in which, as a result of the apportionment of natural ability, nurturing, and publicly financed education, some people can be well endowed with human capital, whereas other people are poorly endowed with human capital. We assume that people can choose to be either producers or predators. An increase in a person's human capital makes predation a less attractive choice for that person. As a result, it is possible that by using some of their human capital to educate the poorly endowed people rather than to produce consumables the well endowed people can increase their own consumption. We also find that the nature of the educational policy that maximizes the consumption of the well endowed people depends on the ability of producers to enforce a collective choice of the amount of resources to be allocated to guarding against predators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97-30.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:97-30

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Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912

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Keywords: Human Resources;

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References

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  1. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  3. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  4. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  5. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 2002. "Predation, Efficiency, and Inequality," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(3), pages 393-, September.
  6. Grossman, Herschel I., 1995. "Robin hood and the redistribution of property income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 399-410, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
  2. Michael Mitsopoulos, 2009. "Envy, Institutions And Growth," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 201-222, 07.
  3. Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Producers and Predators," NBER Working Papers 6499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2000. "Human capital, social capital, and public schooling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 879-890, May.

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