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Symbolic Values, Occupational Choice, and Economic Development

Giacomo Corneo and Olivier Jeanne

No 2763, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Channeling human resources into the right occupations has historically been a key to economic prosperity. Occupational choices are not only driven by the material rewards associated with the various occupations, but also by the esteem that they confer. We propose a model of endogenous growth in which occupations carry a symbolic value that makes them more or less attractive; the evolution of symbolic values is endogenous and determined by purposive transmission of value systems within families. The model sheds light on the interaction between cultural and economic development and identifies circumstances under which value systems matter for long-run growth. It shows the possibility of culturally determined poverty traps and offers a framework for thinking about the transition from traditional to modern values.

Keywords: long-run growth; economic development; occupational choice; symbolic values (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D1 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2007-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cul and nep-dev
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Published - published in: European Economic Review, 2010, 54 (2), 241-255

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Journal Article: Symbolic values, occupational choice, and economic development (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Symbolic values, occupational choice, and economic development (2007) Downloads
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