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A Schumpeterian model of growth and inequality

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  • Hélène Latzer

Abstract

This paper contributes to the analysis of the effects of demand structure on longterm growth. Introducing non-homothetic preferences in an otherwise standard quality- model, we first show that disparities in purchasing power generate positive R&D investment by quality leaders. This result is obtained with complete equal treatment in the R&D field between the incumbent patentholder and the challengers as well as without any concavity in the R&D cost function: 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. We hence exemplify a so far overlooked demand-driven rationale for innovation by incumbents. We then move to analyzing the impact of inequalities on long-term growth in our quality-ladder framework, and find that a lower level of wealth disparities always leads to an increase in the long-run growth rate. Finally, we show that beyond this negative impact on growth, inequalities also influence the allocation of the overall R&D effort between incumbents and challengers: a higher level of inequalities will in most cases lead to a bigger share of the overall R&D investment to be carried out by quality leaders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2011-20.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2011-20

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Keywords: Growth; Innovation; Income inequalities.;

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References

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  1. Foellmi, Reto & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2009. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 15329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peter Neary & Carsten Eckel, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Economics Series Working Papers 292, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Minniti, Antonio, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms, R&D, and Growth," MPRA Paper 2097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. 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.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, 04.
  10. Piercarlo Zanchettin & Vincenzo Denicolò, 2009. "Leadership Cycles," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/25, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  11. 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.
  12. Segerstrom, Paul S., 1999. "Intel Economics," Working Paper Series 524, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    • 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  15. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
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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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