Human Capital and the Quality of Education in a Poverty Trap Model

OPHI Working Papers

This paper presents a model of a poverty trap that is caused by an unequal initial income and human capital distribution, and differences in the quality of education between children from the more and less advantaged social sectors. Under certain conditions, the economy converges to a situation with three stable and simultaneous equilibria, two of which constitute poverty traps, lowering the economy’s current and steady-state aggregate output level as well as its growth rate. The model suggests that a policy oriented to equalizing the quality of education would, in the long run, have potential in reducing initial inequalities.

Author: Maria Emma Santos

Year: 2009

Citation: Santos, M. E. (2009). 'Human capital and the quality of education in a poverty trap model', OPHI Working Paper 30, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

Also published in Oxford Development Studies, 2011, Vol. 39(1), pp. 25-47.

poverty trap, income distribution, quality of education, educational policy, equality of opportunity

Maria Emma Santos
Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
JEL Codes
D31, O12, I21
Publication Number
WP 30