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Optimal Product Variety, Scale Effects and Growth

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  • Groot, H.L.F. de
  • Nahuis, R.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We analyze the social optimality of growth and product variety in a model of endogenous growth. The model contains two sectors, one assembly sector producing a homogenous consumption good, and one intermediate goods sector producing a differentiated input used in the assembly sector. Growth results from R&D performed by firms in the intermediate goods sector aimed at quality improvement. We disentangle three effects associated with increased variety, namely (i) a productivity effect, (ii) a business stealing effect, and (iii) a growth effect. The market provides too little variety and suboptimally high growth if the productivity effect of variety is large relative to the market power of intermediate goods producers. If varieties are not productive, the market provides too low a rate of growth, whereas variety may be too low as well.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 1997-54.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:199754

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

Related research

Keywords: endogenous growth; monopolistic competition; returns to variety; returns to scale; social welfare;

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References

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  1. Peretto, Pietro F, 1996. "Sunk Costs, Market Structure, and Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 895-923, November.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  3. Yang, Xiaokai & Heijdra, Ben J, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 295-301, March.
  4. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  6. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  7. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
  8. van de Klundert, Theo & Smulders, Sjak, 1997. " Growth, Competition and Welfare," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 99-118, March.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Nahuis, R., 1998. "The Dynamics of a General Purpose Technology in a Research and Assimilation Model," Discussion Paper 1998-119, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Groot, H.L.F. de, 1998. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Outsourcing. An Analysis of Growth, Welfare and Product Variety," Discussion Paper 1998-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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