Exclusive Goods and Formal-Sector Employment
AbstractWe explore how the underemployment problem of less-developed economies is related to income inequality. Consumers have nonhomothetic preferences over differentiated products of formal-sector goods and thus inequality affects the composition of aggregate demand via the price-setting behavior of firms. We find that high inequality divides the formal sector into mass producers and exclusive producers (which serve only the rich); high inequality generates an equilibrium where many workers are crowded into the informal economy; and an increase in subsistence productivity raises the unskilled workers' wages and boosts employment due to the higher purchasing power of poorer households. (JEL D31, D43, E24, E26, J24)
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.
Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
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