NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth

Kevin M. Murphy, Andrei Shleifer, Robert W. Vishny

NBER Working Paper No. 3530
Issued in December 1990
NBER Program(s):   EFG

A country's most talented people typically organize production by others, so they can spread their ability advantage over a larger scale. When they start firms, they innovate and foster growth, but when they become rent seekers, they only redistribute wealth and reduce growth. Occupational choice depends on returns to ability and to scale in each sector, on market size, and on compensation contracts. In most countries, rent seeking rewards talent more than entrepreneurship does, leading to stagnation. Our evidence shows that countries with a higher proportion of engineering college majors grow faster; whereas countries with a higher proportion of law concentrators grow slower.

download in pdf format
   (357 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (357 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3530

Published: The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. CVI, pp. 503-530, May 1991. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Shleifer and Vishny w4372 Corruption
Murphy, Shleifer, and Vishny w2708 Industrialization and the Big Push
Glaeser, Ponzetto, and Shleifer w12128 Why Does Democracy Need Education?
Philippon w13560 Financiers vs. Engineers: Should the Financial Sector be Taxed or Subsidized?
Philippon and Reshef w13437 Skill Biased Financial Development: Education, Wages and Occupations in the U.S. Financial Sector
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us