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Heterogeneous Consumers, Vertical Product Differentiation and the Rate of Innovation

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Author Info

  • Zweimueller, Josef

    (Department of Economics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)

  • Brunner, Johann K.

    (Department of Economics, University of Linz)

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of income inequality on the level of innovative activities in a model where innovations result in quality improvements. The market for quality goods is characterized by a natural oligopoly with three types of consumers - rich, middle class and poor. In general, we find that for reasons of strategic price setting a more equal distribution of income is favourable for innovation incentives. This is consistent with empirical evidence suggesting that countries with a more equal distribution of income have grown faster.

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File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-32.pdf
File Function: First version, 1996
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 32.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Jun 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:32

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Related research

Keywords: Inequality; Income Distribution; Heterogeneity; Innovation; Endogeneous Growth; Product Quality; Vertical Product Differentiation;

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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  2. Saint-Paul, G. & Verdier, T., 1991. "Education, Democracy and growth," DELTA Working Papers 91-27, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  4. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  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. Torvik, Ragnar, 1993. " Talent, Growth and Income Distribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 581-96, December.
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  8. Clarke, George R. G., 1992. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1064, The World Bank.
  9. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-64, August.
  11. Falkinger, Josef, 1994. "An Engelian model of growth and innovation with hierarchic consumer demand and unequal incomes," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 123-139, June.
  12. GABSZEWICZ, Jean J. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Price competition, quality and income disparities," CORE Discussion Papers RP -370, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  14. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-83, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Friedrich Schneider & Kausik Chaudhuri & Sumana Chatterjee, 2003. "The Size and Development of the Indian Shadow Economy and a Comparison with other 18 Asian Countries: An Empirical Investigation," Economics working papers 2003-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner, 2003. "Tradeable permits - Ten key design issues," Economics working papers 2003-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Zweimüller, Josef, 1998. "Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1880, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner & Mathias Dufour, 2003. "Satisfaction not guaranteed-Institutions and satisfaction with democracy in Western Europe," Economics working papers 2003-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  5. Foellmi, Reto & Josef Zweim¸ller, 2002. "Heterogeneous Mark-ups, Demand Composition, and the Inequality-Growth Relation," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 76, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Chol-Won Li., . "Inequality and Growth: A Schumpeterian Perspective," Working Papers 9609, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Feb 1998.

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