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Social Status, Culture and Economic Performance


  • Chaim Fershtman
  • Yoram Weiss


Cultural differences among societies may translate into different social status of occupations and can, therefore, affect the workers' choice of education and occupation and, consequently, the equilibrium level of output and wages. Conversely, the economic choices of individuals influence the social status of occupations. This paper constructs a general equilibrium model in which both wages and status are determined endogenously. The authors show that changes in the demand for status, triggered by changes in preferences or income distribution, influence the wage structure, the level of aggregate output, and economic welfare. Copyright 1993 by Royal Economic Society.
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  • Chaim Fershtman & Yoram Weiss, 1991. "Social Status, Culture and Economic Performance," Discussion Papers 1007, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
    2. Weiss, Yoram, 1976. "The Wealth Effect in Occupational Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 292-307, June.
    3. 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 274-298, April.
    4. Benabou, R., 1991. "Location, Education, and Production," Working papers 582, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Fershtman, Chaim & Weiss, Yoram, 1993. "Social Status, Culture and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(419), pages 946-959, July.
    6. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
    7. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    8. Basu, Kaushik, 1989. "A Theory of Association: Social Status, Prices and Markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 653-671, October.
    9. Weiss, Yoram & Lillard, Lee A, 1978. "Experience, Vintage, and Time Effects in the Growth of Earnings: American Scientists, 1960-1970," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 427-447, June.
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