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Financial frictions, occupational choice and economic inequality

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  • Allub, Lian
  • Erosa Etchebehere, Andrés

Abstract

We develop a quantitative theory of entrepreneurship, income inequality, and financial frictions disciplined with household data from Brazil. The theory extends Lucas (1978) by modeling heterogeneity in two skills: -working and managerial skills. Consistently with the evidence, the theory implies three occupational categories: workers, employers, and self-employed entrepreneurs. We find that the removal of financial frictions decreases self-employment rates from 24% to 11% (with small effects on the number of employers), increases aggregate output by 48%, and has non- trivial effects on the distribution of income. We also find that while most households benefit from a reform that eliminates enforcement problems, the majority of employers (about two thirds) lose from the reform. By depressing the demand for labor, limited enforcement depresses the equilibrium wage rate, increasing the profits of employers. Our theory thus suggests that employers in Brazil may have a vested interested in maintaining a status quo with low enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Allub, Lian & Erosa Etchebehere, Andrés, 2014. "Financial frictions, occupational choice and economic inequality," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1413, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1413
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1875-1891, September.
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    3. Pedro S. Amaral & Erwan Quintin, 2010. "Limited Enforcement, Financial Intermediation, And Economic Development: A Quantitative Assessment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 785-811, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Andres Erosa, 2001. "Financial Intermediation and Occupational Choice in Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 303-334, April.
    6. Buera, Francisco J. & Shin, Yongseok, 2011. "Self-insurance vs. self-financing: A welfare analysis of the persistence of shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 845-862, May.
    7. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
    8. Manuel García-Santana & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2010. "Small Scale Reservation Laws and the Misallocation of Talent," Working Papers wp2010_1010, CEMFI.
    9. Hyeok Jeong & Robert Townsend, 2007. "Sources of TFP growth: occupational choice and financial deepening," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 179-221, July.
    10. Virgiliu Midrigan & Daniel Yi Xu, 2014. "Finance and Misallocation: Evidence from Plant-Level Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 422-458, February.
    11. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bettina Brueggemann, 2016. "Higher Taxes at the Top: The Role of Entrepreneurs," 2016 Meeting Papers 332, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Roberto Ramos & Manuel García-Santana & Jose Asturias, 2014. "Misallocation, Internal Trade, and the Role of Transportation Infrastructure," 2014 Meeting Papers 1035, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Juan M. Sanchez & Cheng Wang, 2010. "Financing Development: The Role of Information Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1875-1891, September.
    4. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2015. "Entrepreneurship and Financial Frictions: A Macrodevelopment Perspective," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 409-436, August.
    5. Kevin Donovan, 2014. "Subsistence Entrepreneurs and Misallocation," 2014 Meeting Papers 771, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, 2019. "Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 42-67, April.
    7. Inés Butler & Gabriela Galassi & Hernán Ruffo, 2016. "Public funding for startups in Argentina: an impact evaluation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 295-309, February.
    8. Tanida Arayavechkit & Somprawin Manprasert & Jaree Pinthong, 2015. "Intertwining Inequality and Labor Market under the New Normal," PIER Discussion Papers 6., Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Oct 2015.
    9. Merlin, Giovanni Tondin, 2018. "Entrepreneurship, financial frictions and the welfare gains of business cycles," Textos para discussão 484, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    10. Hill, Enoch & Perez-Reyna, David, 2017. "Financial development and occupational choice," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PB), pages 393-409.
    11. Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee, 2019. "Entrepreneurs, managers and inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 42-67, April.

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