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Poor people and risky business

  • Hernando Zuleta

    ()

We try to explain why economic conflicts and illegal business often take place in poor countries. We use the concept of subsistence level of consumption (d) and assume a regular concave utility function for consumption levels higher than d. For consumption levels lower than d utility is constant and equal to zero. Under this framework poor agents are risk-lovers. This result helps to explain why economic conflicts are more likely to appear in poor economies and why poor agents are more willing to undertake illegal business.

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Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO in its series DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO with number 003356.

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Length: 12
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000092:003356
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  1. Skaperdas, S., 1991. "Cooperation, Conflict And Power In The Absence Of Property Rights," Papers 90-91-06a, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  2. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  3. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié, 1997. "Estimating Preferences under Risk : The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Working Papers 97-39, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Horowitz, Andrew W, 1993. "Time Paths of Land Reform: A Theoretical Model of Reform Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1003-10, September.
  5. Fowler, Thomas B., 1996. "The international narcotics trade: Can it be stopped by interdiction?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 233-270, June.
  6. Edwards, Kimberley D., 1996. "Prospect theory: A literature review," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 19-38.
  7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  9. Gerald Kennally, 2001. "Regulating the Trade in Recreational Drugs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 69-82, January.
  10. Piron, Robert & Smith, L. Ray, 1995. "Testing risklove in an experimental racetrack," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 465-474, August.
  11. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  13. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-14, May.
  14. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
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