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Human Capital, Study Effort, and Persistent Income Inequality

  • Chengze Simon Fan
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    The paper shows that if an individual's cost of human capital accumulation depends on his parents' human capital and there exists a "raw labor" sector of production, individuals with low parental human capital may devote little effort in study and become unskilled workers. Further, if an individual exerts little effort in study, the human capital he accumulated may be even less than his parents'. Consequently, his children will have even lower parental human capital than him and they will therefore also become unskilled. Thus, the model shows that even when education is free, income inequality can persist across generations. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (05)
    Pages: 311-326

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:7:y:2003:i:2:p:311-326
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    1. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-82, June.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
    3. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. " The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
    4. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
    6. Eric R. Eide & Mark H. Showalter, 1999. "Factors Affecting the Transmission of Earnings across Generations: A Quantile Regression Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 253-267.
    7. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
    8. Sawhill, Isabel V, 1988. "Poverty in the U.S.: Why Is It So Persistent?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1073-119, September.
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