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Human Capital, Study Effort, and Persistent Income Inequality

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  • Chengze Simon Fan

Abstract

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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  • Chengze Simon Fan, 2003. "Human Capital, Study Effort, and Persistent Income Inequality," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 311-326, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:7:y:2003:i:2:p:311-326
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-382, June.
    4. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    5. 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 1073-1119, September.
    6. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-164.
    7. 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.
    8. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek, 1996. "Measuring Investment in Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 9-30, Fall.
    11. William A. Darity Jr & Samuel L. Myers Jr, 1998. "persistent disparity," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1331, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Fan, C., 2008. "Religious participation and children's education: A social capital approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 303-317, February.

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