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Stars and Misfits: A Theory of Occupational Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas B. Astebro

    (Joseph L. Rotman School of Management - University of Toronto)

  • Jing Chen

    (Department of Economics - FIU - Florida International University)

  • Peter Thompson

    (Department of Economics - FIU - Florida International University)

Abstract

In some datasets, the self-employed earn markedly less than wage earners, even though those at the top end of the distribution earn more than their wage-earning peers. This observation is explained by a model of entrepreneurial choice that blends Lazear's [Journal of Labor Economics, vol. 23, pp. 649-680 (2005)] notion that entrepreneurs must be skilled in a variety of activities with the strong complementarity between skills central to Kremer's [Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 108, pp. 551-575 (1993)] O-ring theory of production. We test some predictions of the model using two datasets, with mixed results.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas B. Astebro & Jing Chen & Peter Thompson, 2010. "Stars and Misfits: A Theory of Occupational Choice," Working Papers hal-00655035, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00655035
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-hec.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00655035
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    Cited by:

    1. Castro Campos, Bente, 2013. "Human capital differences or labor market discrimination? The occupational outcomes of ethnic minorities in rural Guizhou (China)," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 73, number 73.
    2. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 2011. "Entrepreneurs and cities: Complexity, thickness and balance," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 550-559.
    3. Castro Campos, Bente, 2014. "Official Ethnic Labels and Non-Agricultural Work in Guizhou (China)," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universitaat zu Berlin, vol. 53(2), pages 1-28, May.

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