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Patience Capital and the Demise of the Aristocracy

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We model the decision problem of a parent who chooses an occupation and invests in the patience of her children. The two choices complement each other: patient individuals choose occupations with a steep income profile; a steep income profile, in turn, leads to a strong incentive to invest in patience. In equilibrium, society becomes stratified along occupational lines. The most patient people are those in occupations requiring the most education and experience. The theory can account for the demise of the British land-owning aristocracy in the nineteenth century, when rich landowners proved unable to profit from new opportunities arising with industrialization, and were thus surpassed by industrialists rising from the middle classes.

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  • Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "Patience Capital and the Demise of the Aristocracy," Seminar Papers 735, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0735
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950.
    2. Guido Tabellini, 2007. "The Scope of Cooperation: Norms and Incentives," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000866, David K. Levine.
    3. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2008. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 747-793.
    4. Haruyama, Tetsugen & Park, Hyun, 2017. "A simple dynastic economy with parental time investment in children’s patience," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 235-247.
    5. Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter & Tangerås, Thomas, 2005. "Human Capital, Rent Seeking, and a Transition from Stagnation to Growth," Working Paper Series 656, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Offer, Avner, 2013. "Economy of liabilities: incomplete contracts and the cost of social-oriented state," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 109-126, April.
    7. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 516-524, 04/05.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    discount factor; patience; British aristocracy; Industrial Revolution; capital accumulation; income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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