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Practice Makes Perfect: On Professional Standards

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  • Sällström Matthews, S.E.
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    Abstract

    Practising is a matter of increasing the reliability of ones skills rather than relying on a tool or a strike of genius to get it right. Once perfection has been achieved the individual will aim for higher quality since the effort is more likely to be worthwhile. Furthermore because the returns to achieving perfection are higher the harder it is to achieve, the perfectionist equilibrium only arises in situations where genius is rare and reliability is low. From this follows that as tools improve, even though perfection then has become easier to achieve, professional standards may nonetheless decline. This mechanism is captured in an oligopoly model, where the failure rate and the quality are endogenously determined.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0728.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0728.

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    Length: 29
    Date of creation: May 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0728

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    Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: human capital; skill; technological change; quality; standards; learning; cultural economics; imperfect competition; patent race.;

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    1. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
    3. Black, Sandra E & Lynch, Lisa M, 1996. "Human-Capital Investments and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 263-67, May.
    4. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Price competition, quality and income disparities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Richard E. Caves, 2003. "Contracts Between Art and Commerce," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 73-83, Spring.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
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