IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Occupational Choice and the Process of Development

  • Abhijit V. Banerjee
  • Andrew F. Newman

This paper models economic development as a process of institutional transformation by focusing on the interplay between agents' occupational decisions and the distribution of wealth. Because of capital market imperfections, poor agents choose working for a wage over self-employment, and wealthy agents become entrepreneurs who monitor workers. However, only with sufficient in equality will there be employment contracts; otherwise, depending on average wealth, there is either stagnation or self-employment. Thus, in a static context, the occupational structure depends on distribution. Since the distribution of wealth is itself endogenous, however, we demonstrate the robustness of this result by extending the model dynamically and studying examples in which initial wealth distributions have long run effects. In one case the economy develops into prosperity or stagnation, depending on the initial distribution; in the other example, it develops either widespread cottage industry (self-employment) or factory production (employment contracts).

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 911.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 1990
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:911
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stiglitz, J.E., 1988. "Economic Organization, Information And Development," Papers 21, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1989. "Why Are Capitalists the Bosses?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 162-76, March.
  3. repec:bla:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:2:p:211-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. M. Ali Khan, 1989. "In Praise of Development Economics," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 337-384.
  5. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  6. Glenn M. MacDonald, 1982. "Specific Investments and Nonlabor Income," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 225-233, Spring.
  7. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  8. Abhijit Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1989. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Discussion Papers 877, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  10. Cohen, Jon S, 1981. "Managers and Machinery: An Analysis of the Rise of Factory Production," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(36), pages 24-41, June.
  11. Andrew F. Newman, 1991. "The Capital Market," Discussion Papers 951, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1988. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 2709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  14. repec:bla:restud:v:60:y:1993:i:4:p:865-88 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Sappington, David, 1983. "Limited liability contracts between principal and agent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-21, February.
  16. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  17. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 865-888.
  18. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:617-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  20. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1990. "Increasing Returns, Industrialization and Indeterminacy of Equilibrium," Discussion Papers 878, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  21. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Models as Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(390), pages 1-24, Supplemen.
  22. Millward, R., 1981. "The emergence of wage labor in early modern England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 21-39, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:911. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fran Walker)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.