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Occupational Diversity and Endogenous Inequality

Author

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  • Dilip Mookherjee

    () (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)

  • debraj Ray

    () (New York University and Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC))

Abstract

A traditional view of markets is that they equalize wealth across individuals. A more recent literature suggests that markets are inherently disequalizing. A third viewpoint argues that initial history is crucial in determining whether inequalities persist or not. By constructing a theory of equilibrium investment allocation between human capital and financial assets in the presence of borrowing constraints, we address these views in a unified way. Two attributes of occupational diversity turn out to be central to our understanding: span, the range of training costs across occupations, and richness, the variety of different training costs contained within the span. The former is used to generate a necessary and sufficient condition for markets to be disequalizing, while the latter is shown to be directly connected to the question of history-dependence.
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Suggested Citation

  • Dilip Mookherjee & debraj Ray, 2005. "Occupational Diversity and Endogenous Inequality," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-142, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-142
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea, Canidio, 2009. "The determinants of long-run inequality," MPRA Paper 25137, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2009. "The long-run determinants of inequality: What can we learn from top income data?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 974-988, August.
    3. Guido Cozzi & Fabio Privileggi, 2009. "The fractal nature of inequality in a fast growing world: new version," Working Papers 2009_30, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    4. Kim, Young Chul, 2009. "Lifetime Network Externality and the Dynamics of Group Inequality," MPRA Paper 18767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Rashmi Umesh Arora, 2012. "Finance and inequality: a study of Indian states," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(34), pages 4527-4538, December.
    6. Kim, Dong-Hyeon & Lin, Shu-Chin, 2011. "Nonlinearity in the financial developmentâincome inequality nexus," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 310-325, September.

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