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An Occupational Choice Model for Developing Countries

  • Gerardo Jacobs
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    Most occupational choice models introduce only two options for agents: entrepreneurial activities or wage-employment. However, these models represent inadequately the labor force distribution from developing countries, where an important proportion of the total work force are self-employed workers. Some models introduce self-employment as an occupational choice. These works have a common feature : at equilibrium, wage earners belong to the lower end of the income distribution. However, for a large set of developing countries, peasants and small proprietors are part of a self employment sector that can mostly be found in the lower end of the income distribution. In this work, in contrast with previous efforts, self-employment formation is consistent with data from most developing countries. We pay special attention to the conditions under which either the economy ends in a low income equilibrium, where self-employment is the only form of production; or alternatively, a high income equilibrium with a well developed labor market. We study some public policy issues, paying special attention to role of capital markets and the efficiency of schooling.

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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Göttingen 2007 with number 15.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec07:6538
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    1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
    3. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
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