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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
    DOI: 10.1086/262019
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    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education, Third Edition, pages 299-322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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, Third Edition, pages 323-350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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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