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Social Status, Education, and Growth

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  • Fershtman, Chaim
  • Murphy, Kevin M
  • Weiss, Yoram

Abstract

This paper investigates the implications of social rewards on the allocation of talent in society and consequently on the process of economic growth. The authors consider two sources of heterogeneity among workers: nonwage income and innate ability. A greater emphasis on status may induce the 'wrong' individuals, that is, those with low ability and high wealth, to acquire schooling, causing workers with high ability and low wealth to leave the growth-enhancing industries. This crowding-out effect, taken alone, discourages growth. Growth may be enhanced by a more egalitarian distribution of wealth, which reduces the demand for status. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Fershtman, Chaim & Murphy, Kevin M & Weiss, Yoram, 1996. "Social Status, Education, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 108-132, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:104:y:1996:i:1:p:108-32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Galor, Oded, 1992. "A Two-Sector Overlapping-Generations Model: A Global Characterization of the Dynamical System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1351-1386, November.
    2. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    3. Fershtman, Chaim & Weiss, Yoram, 1993. "Social Status, Culture and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 946-959, July.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    8. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    9. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Levine, David K., 1990. "The economics of indeterminacy in overlapping generations models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 219-243, July.
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