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Endogenous persistent inequality

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that inherited human capital is a powerful vector of inequality formation and persistence, irrespective of its links with financial wealth endowment. This paper argues that the agents who inherit a low level of human capital bear a greater utility cost in their educational investment and that there are different profiles of returns on human capital within the economy. These two arguments are sufficient to generate an endogenous formation of workers' and entrepreneurs' groups and a continuum of steady states with inequality. Allowing for self-employment in the model generates the possibility of equality at equilibrium in addition to the inequality equilibrium with the emergence of a middle class.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/cahiers2005/V05059.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number v05059.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v05059
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  1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Dominique Rouault, 2001. "Les revenus des indépendants et dirigeants : la valorisation du bagage personnel," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 348(1), pages 35-59.
  3. Mookherjee, Dilip & Ray, Debraj, 2002. "Persistent Inequality," Discussion Paper 57, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Chatterjee, Satyajit, 1994. "Transitional dynamics and the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 97-119, May.
  5. Durlauf, S.N., 1992. "A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Papers 47, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  6. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  7. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2002. "Contractual Structure and Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 818-849, September.
  8. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  9. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  10. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
  11. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
  12. Ljungqvist, Lars, 1993. "Economic underdevelopment : The case of a missing market for human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-239, April.
  13. Galor, O. & Tsiddon, D., 1996. "Technological Progress, Mobility and Economic Growth," Papers 13-96, Tel Aviv.
  14. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Piketty, Thomas, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 173-89, April.
  16. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  17. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2001. "On the Rise and Fall of Class Societies," Discussion Papers 1326, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  18. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 151-72, April.
  19. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  20. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 2000. "Endogenous Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 743-59, October.
  21. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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