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Status jobs, human capital, and growth: the effects of heterogeneity


  • Frédéric Tournemaine
  • Christopher Tsoukis


This paper develops a simple endogenous growth model of human capital accumulation with social status effects. These include status from job quality, as indicated by their relative level of education, as well as 'keeping up with the Joneses' in consumption. Symmetrically held, social aspirations increase growth, but possibly to a sub-optimally high level. Under heterogeneity, we show that growth and inequality are negatively related. We distinguish between 'average' and 'differential' status effects, and point out the difference in the effects on growth and equality between these two classes. Within the 'differential' effects class, any rise in 'gains from' and decrease in 'pains from the lack of' status from either consumption and/or job quality would decrease mean hours in education, growth, and increase inequality. Copyright 2009 , Oxford University Press.

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  • Frédéric Tournemaine & Christopher Tsoukis, 2009. "Status jobs, human capital, and growth: the effects of heterogeneity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 467-493, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:61:y:2009:i:3:p:467-493

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cramton, Peter & Gibbons, Robert & Klemperer, Paul, 1987. "Dissolving a Partnership Efficiently," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 615-632, May.
    2. María-Angeles de Frutos & Thomas Kittsteiner, 2008. "Efficient partnership dissolution under buy-sell clauses," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 184-198.
    3. Kittsteiner, Thomas, 2003. "Partnerships and double auctions with interdependent valuations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 54-76, July.
    4. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-661, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Tsoukis & Frédéric Tournemaine, 2013. "Status In A Canonical Macro Model: Labour Supply, Growth And Inequality," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81, pages 65-92, October.
    2. Tournemaine, Frederic & Tsoukis, Christopher, 2010. "Gain versus pain from status and ambition: Effects on growth and inequality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 286-294, April.
    3. Christopher Tsoukis & Frederic Tournemaine, 2011. "Social Conflict, Growth And Factor Shares," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 283-304, May.
    4. Frederic Tournemaine & Christopher Tsoukis, 2010. "Status, Fertility, Growth And The Great Transition," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 55(03), pages 553-574.
    5. Tournemaine, Frederic & Tsoukis, Christopher, 2015. "The growth–distribution nexus in a mixed regime of education with a status motive: On the macroeconomics of the welfare state," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 235-243.
    6. Frederic Tournemaine & Christopher Tsoukis, 2015. "Public Expenditures, Growth, and Distribution in a Mixed Regime of Education with a Status Motive," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(5), pages 673-701, October.

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