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Beyond the Arrow effect: income distribution and multi-quality firms in a Schumpeterian framework

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  • Hélène LATZER

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

This paper introduces multi-quality firms within a Schumpeterian framework. Featuring non-homothetic preferences and income disparities in an otherwise standard quality-ladder model, I indeed show that the resulting differences in the willingness to pay for quality among consumers generate both positive investments in R&D by industry leaders and positive market shares for more than one quality, hence allowing for the emergence of multi-product firms within a vertical innovation framework. This positive investment in R&D by incumbents is obtained with complete equal treatment in the R&D field between the incumbent patentholder and the challengers: in our framework, the incentive for a leader to invest in R&D stems from the possibility for an incumbent having innovated twice in a row to efficiently discriminate between rich and poor consumers displaying differences in their willingness to pay for quality. I hence exemplify a so far overlooked demand-driven rationale for innovation by incumbents. I am then also able to analyze the impact of inequality both on long-term growth and on the allocation of R&D activities between challengers and incumbents. I find that redistributive policies generally lead to an increase in the long-run growth rate, and to variations in the share of the overall R&D expenditures being undertaken by incumbents.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2013004.

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Length: 31
Date of creation: 19 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013004

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Keywords: Growth; Innovation; Income inequality; Multi-Product firms;

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References

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  1. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721 - 765.
  2. Paul S. Segerstrom, 2007. "Intel Economics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 247-280, 02.
  3. Carsten Eckel & J Peter Neary, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Working Papers 200608, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Piercarlo Zanchettin & Vincenzo Denicolò, 2009. "Leadership Cycles," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/25, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Zweimuller, Josef, 2000. " Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 185-206, June.
  8. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  9. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, December.
  10. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, . "Income Distribution and Demand-induced Innovations," IEW - Working Papers 212, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Minniti, Antonio, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms, R&D, and Growth," MPRA Paper 2097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Cozzi Guido, 2007. "The Arrow Effect under Competitive R&D," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, January.
  14. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, 04.
  15. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  1. Price discrimination drives industry leaders to further innovate
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-03-03 14:54:00
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Cited by:
  1. Hélène LATZER & Alexandre SIMONS, 2014. "Income distribution, multi-quality firms and patterns of trade," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2014003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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