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The Role of Rents to Human Capital in Economic Development

Listed author(s):
  • Saint-Paul, G.

In an overlapping generations model, rents to human capital play a key role in increasing savings. In the absence of such rents, the return to human capital is entirely appropriated by the old and accumulation is entirely determined by the income to fixed factors. If rents are introduced by setting a ceiling on human capital accumulation, the economy may achieve a larger income level, even though the ceiling reduces the economy's feasibility set. Threshold effects and multiple steady states arise because rents to human capital are self perpetuating. Inequality in abilities may be good for growth because it allows inframarginal workers to earn rents on their human capital, which then increase savings. Public education is also good for growth because it gives the young property rights over their own human capital, which are thus equivalent to rents.

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Paper provided by DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) in its series DELTA Working Papers with number 94-01.

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Date of creation: 1994
Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Economics, août 1997, vol. 53, pp. 229-249
Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:94-01
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
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  7. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
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