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Patience Capital and the Demise of the Aristocracy

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  • Doepke, Matthias

    ()
    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Zilibotti, Fabrizio

    ()
    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

We model the decision problem of a parent who chooses an occupation and invests in the patience of her children. The two choices complement each other: patient individuals choose occupations with a steep income profile; a steep income profile, in turn, leads to a strong incentive to invest in patience. In equilibrium, society becomes stratified along occupational lines. The most patient people are those in occupations requiring the most education and experience. The theory can account for the demise of the British land-owning aristocracy in the nineteenth century, when rich landowners proved unable to profit from new opportunities arising with industrialization, and were thus surpassed by industrialists rising from the middle classes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 735.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0735

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Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/
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Keywords: discount factor; patience; British aristocracy; Industrial Revolution; capital accumulation; income distribution;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2007. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," IZA Discussion Papers 2949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950, August.
  3. Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter & Tangerås, Thomas, 2005. "Human Capital, Rent Seeking, and a Transition from Stagnation to Growth," Working Paper Series 656, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Guido Tabellini, 2007. "The Scope of Cooperation: Norms and Incentives," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000866, David K. Levine.
  5. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 516-524, 04/05.

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