IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/16-123.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Human Capital Acquisition and Occupational Choice: Implications for Economic Development

Author

Listed:
  • Marti Mestieri

    (Northwestern University)

  • Johanna Schauer

    (Toulouse School of Economics)

  • Robert Townsend

    (MIT)

Abstract

Using household-level data from Mexico we document patterns among schooling, entrepreneurial decisions and household characteristics such as assets, talent of household members and age of the household head. Motivated by our findings, we develop a heterogeneous-agent, incomplete- markets, overlapping-generations dynasty model. Households jointly decide over their life cycle on (i) kids' human capital investments (schooling) and (ii) parents' entry, exit and investment into alternative entrepreneurial modes (subsistence and modern). With financial constraints all of these are co-determined. A calibrated version of our model can account for the broad correlation patterns uncovered in the data within and across generations, e.g., a non-monotonic relationship between educational choices and assets across occupations, growth in profits and employment for modern firms only, and dynastic persistence across generations in education and wealth. Endogenous human capital acquisition is a key driver of inequality and intergenerational persistence. Eliminating this channel would decrease the top 10% income share by 47%. Eliminating within-period borrowing constraints would increase average household expenditure by 7.1% and benefit the middle class, reducing top and bottom expenditure shares. It would also reduce by 28% the correlation between household assets and kids' schooling levels. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Marti Mestieri & Johanna Schauer & Robert Townsend, 2017. "Human Capital Acquisition and Occupational Choice: Implications for Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 151-186, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:16-123 DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2017.02.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2017.02.001
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pavel Sevcik & Rui Castro, 2013. "Occupational Choice, Human Capital, and Financing Constraints," 2013 Meeting Papers 1321, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. repec:bla:scandj:v:119:y:2017:i:1:p:102-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nezih Guner & Andrii Parkhomenko & Gustavo Ventura, . "Managers and Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. German Cubas & B. Ravikumar & Gustavo Ventura, 2016. "Talent, Labor Quality, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 160-181, July.
    5. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner & Youngmin Park, 2017. "Correlation, Consumption, Confusion, or Constraints: Why Do Poor Children Perform so Poorly?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(1), pages 102-147, January.
    6. German Cubas & B. Ravikumar & Gustavo Ventura, 2016. "Talent, Labor Quality, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 160-181, July.
    7. Melanie Khamis, 2012. "A Note On Informality In The Labour Market," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 894-908, October.
    8. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2012. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," NBER Working Papers 18493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Ananth Seshadri & Nicolas Roys, 2012. "Economic Development and the Organization of Production," 2012 Meeting Papers 456, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Orazio P. Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Ana Santiago, 2012. "Education Choices in Mexico: Using a Structural Model and a Randomized Experiment to Evaluate PROGRESA," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 37-66.
    11. Manuela Angelucci & Giacomo De Giorgi, 2009. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: How Do Cash Transfers Affect Ineligibles' Consumption?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 486-508.
    12. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 184-198.
    13. Jere R. Behrman & Susan W. Parker & Petra E. Todd, 2011. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers for Schooling Generate Lasting Benefits?: A Five-Year Followup of PROGRESA/Oportunidades," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 93-122.
    14. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
    15. Matías Busso & Maria Victoria Fazio & Santiago Levy Algazi, 2012. "(In)Formal and (Un)Productive: The Productivity Costs of Excessive Informality in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4047, Inter-American Development Bank.
    16. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 184-198.
    17. Matias Busso & Maria Victoria Fazio & Santiago Levy Algazi, 2012. "(In)Formal and (Un)Productive: The Productivity Costs of Excessive Informality in Mexico," Research Department Publications 4789, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:red:issued:16-123. 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: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    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.