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The Race between Demand and Supply: Tinbergen's Pioneering Studies of Earnings Inequality

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  • Heckman, James J.

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

Understanding inequality and devising policies to alleviate it was a central focus of Jan Tinbergen's lifetime research. He was far ahead of his time in many aspects of his work. This essay places his work in the perspective of research on inequality in his time and now, focusing on his studies on the pricing of skills and the evolution of skill prices. In his most fundamental contribution, Tinbergen developed the modern framework for hedonic models as part of his agenda for integrating demand and supply for skills to study determination of earnings and its distribution and the design of effective policy. His lifetime emphasis on social planning caused some economists to ignore his fundamental work.

Suggested Citation

  • Heckman, James J., 2018. "The Race between Demand and Supply: Tinbergen's Pioneering Studies of Earnings Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12046, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12046
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mary S. Morgan, 2019. "Recovering Tinbergen," De Economist, Springer, vol. 167(3), pages 283-295, September.
    2. Ben J. Heijdra & Bas Weel, 2019. "Jan Tinbergen: Engineering a Better World," De Economist, Springer, vol. 167(3), pages 215-219, September.
    3. Morgan, Mary S., 2019. "Recovering Tinbergen," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101409, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; hedonic models; general equilibrium; models of inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform

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