Income distribution: Second thoughts
De Economist , Volume 125 - Issue 3 p. 315- 339
As a follow-up of his book on income distribution the author reformulates his version on the scarcity theory of income from productive contributions. The need to introduce into an earnings theory several job characteristics, non-cognitive as well as cognitive, and the corresponding personality traits is stressed, the latter subdivided into innate and learnable capabilities. The theory is presented in two alternative mathematical versions: one where job and person characteristics are continuous and one where they have discrete values and their frequencies assume continuous values. Although, mainly in the United States, numerous empirical inquiries have been made, job characteristics and the corresponding personal characteristics have not been included in sufficient number. I want to express my profound gratitude to Professor Robert H. Haveman, who not only published a deep-delving review article on my book Income Distribution: Analysis and Policies but also commented on an earlier text of the present article. I also owe a great debt to Professor Jan Pen who in a long series of discussions challenged a number of my concepts and figures. Finally I want to thank Dr. S. K. Kuipers for helpful comments on an earlier draft.