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The Positional Market and Economic Growth


  • Shiping Tang


In addition to the material market, there is also a positional market in human society. The channel of social mobility — the institutional system that regulates the performance of individuals and groups in the positional market — is a critical dimension of the overall institutional foundation of economic growth because it underpins the incentive structure in the positional market. Understanding the interaction between the incentive structures in the material market and those in the positional market sheds new light upon economic history and some of the on-going "natural experiments" in economic development today. Most importantly, understanding the relationship between the positional market and economic growth makes it clear that states should strive to eliminate institutional discrimination because institutional discrimination is not only morally unjust but also economically costly.

Suggested Citation

  • Shiping Tang, 2010. "The Positional Market and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 915-942.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:4:p:915-942
    DOI: 10.2753/JEI0021-3624440404

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