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Competition, Human Capital and Income Inequality with Limited Commitment

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  • Ramon Marimon
  • Vincenzo Quadrini

Abstract

We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model with two-sided limited commitment to study how barriers to competition, such as restrictions to business start-up, affect the incentive to accumulate human capital. We show that a lack of contract enforceability amplifies the effect of barriers to competition on human capital accumulation. High barriers reduce the incentive to accumulate human capital by lowering the outside value of ‘skilled workers’, while low barriers can result in over-accumulation of human capital. This over-accumulation can be socially optimal if there are positive knowledge spillovers. A calibration exercise shows that this mechanism can account for significant cross-country income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Ramon Marimon & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2008. "Competition, Human Capital and Income Inequality with Limited Commitment," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/21, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2008/21
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Quadrini & Ramon Marimon & Thomas Cooley, 2012. "Risky Investments with Limited Commitment," 2012 Meeting Papers 603, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Heggedal, Tom-Reiel & Moen, Espen R. & Preugschat, Edgar, 2017. "Productivity spillovers through labor mobility in search equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 551-602.
    3. Corbae, Dean & Marimon, Ramon, 2011. "Introduction to Incompleteness and Uncertainty in Economics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 775-784, May.
    4. Espen Moen, 2012. "Knowledge spillovers in competitive search equilibrium," 2012 Meeting Papers 913, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Le, Thai-Ha & Nguyen, Canh Phuc & Su, Thanh Dinh & Tran-Nam, Binh, 2020. "The Kuznets curve for export diversification and income inequality: Evidence from a global sample," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 21-39.
    6. Ai, Hengjie & Li, Rui, 2015. "Investment and CEO compensation under limited commitment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 452-472.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Limited commitment; limited enforcement; human capital accumulation; income inequality; innovation; barriers to competition.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D99 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Other
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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