IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Human capital Kuznets curve with subsistence consumption level


  • Matsuo, Miki
  • Tomoda, Yasunobu


We examine the human capital Kuznets curve in a simple model that does not assume increasing returns to scale in human capital formation. With a utility function that specifies a subsistence consumption level, consumption is a necessary good and education is a luxury good. As the children of poor households receive a low level of education, the gap in human capital endowments expands between poor and rich households. Eventually, economic development increases income and expenditure for education, and income inequality declines.

Suggested Citation

  • Matsuo, Miki & Tomoda, Yasunobu, 2012. "Human capital Kuznets curve with subsistence consumption level," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 392-395.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:116:y:2012:i:3:p:392-395 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.04.012

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. De Gregorio, Jose & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2002. "Education and Income Inequality: New Evidence from Cross-Country Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 395-416, September.
    2. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Income Distribution and Growth: The Kuznets Hypothesis Revisited," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 103-117, Suppl..
    3. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1998. "Increasing returns, human capital, and the Kuznets curve," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 353-367, April.
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    5. Petra Sauer & Martin Zagler, 2012. "Economic Growth And The Quantity And Distribution Of Education: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 933-951, December.
    6. Mani, Anandi, 2001. "Income Distribution and the Demand Constraint," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 107-133, June.
    7. Steger, Thomas M., 2000. "Economic growth with subsistence consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 343-361, August.
    8. Audrey Siew Kim LIM & Kam Ki TANG, 2008. "Human Capital Inequality And The Kuznets Curve," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 46(1), pages 26-51.
    9. Oded, Galor, 2011. "Inequality, Human Capital Formation, and the Process of Development," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    10. Amparo Castello & Rafael Domenech, 2002. "Human Capital Inequality and Economic Growth: Some New Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 187-200, March.
    11. Das, Mausumi, 2007. "Persistent inequality: An explanation based on limited parental altruism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 251-270, September.
    12. Moav, Omer, 2002. "Income distribution and macroeconomics: the persistence of inequality in a convex technology framework," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 187-192, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ralph Hippe & Roger Fouquet, 2015. "The human capital transition and the role of policy," GRI Working Papers 185, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. Stefan Baumgaertner & Moritz A. Drupp & Martin F. Quaas, 2013. "Subsistence and substitutability in consumer preferences," Working Paper Series in Economics 290, University of L√ľneburg, Institute of Economics.
    3. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-015-9976-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Human capital; Kuznets curve; Subsistence consumption level; Luxury goods;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:116:y:2012:i:3:p:392-395. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.