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Educational Signaling, Credit Constraints and Inequality Dynamics

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Abstract

We present a dynamic OLG model of educational signaling, inequality and mobility with missing credit markets. Agents are characterized by two sources of unobserved heterogeneity: ability and parental income, consistent with empirical evidence on returns to schooling. Both quantity and quality of human capital evolve endogenously. The model generates a Kuznets inverted-U pattern in skill premia similar to historical US and UK experience. In the first (resp. later) phase the skill premium rises (falls), social returns to education exceed (falls below) private returns: under-investment owing to financial imperfections dominate (are dominated by) over-investment owing to signaling distortions. There always exist Pareto-improving policy interventions reallocating education between poor and rich children. JEL Classification:

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  • Marcello D'Amato & Dilip Mookherjee, 2012. "Educational Signaling, Credit Constraints and Inequality Dynamics," CSEF Working Papers 311, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:311
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    1. 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.
    2. Mookherjee, Dilip & Napel, Stefan, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and macroeconomic history dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 49-78, November.
    3. Hendel, Igal & Shapiro, Joel & Willen, Paul, 2005. "Educational opportunity and income inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 841-870, June.
    4. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "Equilibrium Income Inequality among Identical Agents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1047-1064, October.
    5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Tali Regev, 2007. "Imperfect information, self-selection and the market for higher education," Working Paper Series 2007-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    7. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
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    1. By Vincenzo Carrieri & Marcello D’Amato & Roberto Zotti, 2015. "On the causal effects of selective admission policies on students’ performances: evidence from a quasi-experiment in a large Italian university," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1034-1056.
    2. IOVINO, Giorgia, 2017. "The Mezzogiorno Problem to be. Territorial Implications of the Reform of Tertiary Education in Italy," CELPE Discussion Papers 147, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.

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