Why Doesn't Development Always Succeed? The Role of a Work Ethic

39 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2000

See all articles by Jan Zabojnik

Jan Zabojnik

Queen's University - Department of Economics

Patrick Francois

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 2000

Abstract

This paper presents a theory of underdevelopment. It explains why developing countries may not be able to successfully implement the productive technologies or modes of organization used in developed ones. It also suggests ways around this problem of implementation, and provides an explanation for why already developed countries did not face the same problems. The paper examines the interaction between the population's work ethic and the actions of firms, where a person's work ethic comes to matter. It is shown that an economy can be in either a high work ethic steady state, or a welfare dominated low work ethic one. Attempted development makes the high work ethic steady state more efficient, but, if too rapid, will not allow it to be reached. Instead, the unique trajectory is to the low one, and welfare is reduced.

Keywords: Culture, Evolution, Inequality, Technological Change

JEL Classification: O1, O3, O4, Z1

Suggested Citation

Zabojnik, Jan and Francois, Patrick, Why Doesn't Development Always Succeed? The Role of a Work Ethic (July 2000). USC Finance & Business Econ. Working Paper No. 01-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=244580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.244580

Jan Zabojnik (Contact Author)

Queen's University - Department of Economics ( email )

94 University Avenue
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada
613-533-2275 (Phone)
613-533-6668 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/faculty/zabojnik/Page/

Patrick Francois

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

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