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By Dewatripont M., Hansen L.P., Turnovsky S.J. (eds.)

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Because quality is not easy to contract on ex ante, this will raise the importance of appropriate contract design in product markets for LDCs. It will also make reputation and brand names much more valuable, making it harder for new entrants. One case where 64 65 66 67 See Kanbur (1979) and Kihlstrom and Laffont (1979) for results of this type. For a simple model of a poverty trap of this type, see Banerjee (2000). Morduch (1995), and Walker and Ryan (1990) provide some suggestive evidence for the view that the poor are discouraged by risk from taking up the most profitable opportunities.

Strauss and Thomas (1993) list more than twenty studies that estimate the relation between income and calorie consumption (as a meaure of nutrition). 5. 5. Srinivasan (1994) makes a similar point. 53 This seems to be an important area for future research. The other pillar of this class of theories is wealth effects on investment. The evidence on wealth effects on access to credit has already been discussed at some length, and it may be presumed that these translate into wealth effects on investment.

Each person starts life with an endowment that her parent gave her. Her life is simple, verging on the drab. At the beginning of her life, she chooses among income earning opportunities. Her choices will be either to invest in a productive opportunity or to lend out the money. The exact technology of production will be discussed later, but it could be thought of as either investing in learning a skill, starting a business, or even patenting or promoting a new idea. At the end of the period, the person decides on what to do with her realized income, which consists of her investment earnings plus an endowment e – she can leave it to her child or eat it herself.

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