A Model of Public Education and Income Inequality with a Subsistence Constraint
This paper constructs a model in which incomes do not necessarily converge under a public education system. School attendance creates an opportunity cost of foregone income that poorer agents might need. These poorer agents, unlike high-income agents, allocate less time to schooling and so are less able to increase their human capital. However, some agents in a poverty trap might actually have higher income, at least temporarily, than do agents who do not fall into this trap. The model also shows why better public education systems can lead to more income inequality and why a gradual allocation of resources to public education may prove more beneficial than a sudden, large shift of resources.
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Volume (Year): 69 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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