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Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality

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  • Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee

    (Queen Mary University of London)

Abstract

Income concentration in the U.S. rose sharply since the 1970s. But the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent increased less. This can be partially accounted for by a quantitative model of occupational choice, in which rich individuals choose to become entrepreneurs or managers. Collateral constraints induce entrepreneurs to hold more wealth, while managers earn higher wages as a result of competitive assignments to firms. Declining tax progressivity from 1970 to 2000 replaces top entrepreneurs with top managers, which can account for 65% and 30% of the increase in the share of wages and income earned by the top 1 percent, respectively. At the same time, the share of wealth held by the top 1 percent remains stable, as entrepreneurs decumulate but managers accumulate wealth. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, 2019. "Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 42-67, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:18-331
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2018.12.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Felix Wellschmied & Emircan Yurdagul, 2021. "Endogenous Hours and the Wealth of Entrepreneurs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 39, pages 79-99, January.
    2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Giulio Fella, 2017. "Saving and Wealth Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 280-300, October.
    3. Felix Wellschmied & Emircan Yurdagul, 2021. "Endogenous Hours and the Wealth of Entrepreneurs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 39, pages 79-99, January.
    4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Fella Giulio & Fang Yang, 2016. "Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2015. "Entrepreneurship and Financial Frictions: A Macrodevelopment Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 409-436, August.
    6. Alessandro Di Nola & Georgi Kocharkov & Almuth Scholl & Anna-Mariia Tkhir, 2021. "The Aggregate Consequences of Tax Evasion," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 40, pages 198-227, April.
    7. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2015. "Quantitative Models of Wealth Inequality: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 21106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Benjamin Pugsley & Sebastian Dyrda, 2017. "Taxes, Regulations of Businesses and Evolution of Income Inequality in the US," 2017 Meeting Papers 1463, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Occupational choice; Wealth inequality; Progressive taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

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