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Academic wages and pyramid schemes: a mathematical modelMathematical Physics & Probability
|Speaker: ||Robert McCann, Toronto University|
|Location: ||2112 MSB|
|Start time: ||Wed, Oct 9 2013, 2:10PM|
Wages are determined by supply and demand. In a steady state economy, individuals
will choose between being workers, managers, or teachers, depending on their skills and market
conditions. But these skills are determined in part by the education market. Some individuals
participate in the education market twice, eventually marketing as teachers the skills they acquired
as students. This feedback mechanism has the potential to produce larger and larger wages for the
few most highly skilled individuals at the top of the market. We analyze this phenomena using a
toy model. We show that a competitive equilibrium exists, and it displays a phase transition from
bounded to unbounded wage gradients, depending on whether or not the cumulative influence of
each teacher increases or decreases as we pass through successive generations of their students.
Based on work in progress with Alice Erlinger, Xianwen Shi, Aloysius Siow, and Ronald Wolthoff.