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Income Distribution, Market Structure, and Individual Welfare

  • Tarasov Alexander

    ()

    (University of Munich)

This paper explores how income distribution affects market structure, prices, and economic well-being of different consumer groups. I consider a general equilibrium model of monopolistic competition with free entry, heterogenous firms and consumers that share identical but non-homothetic preferences. The results in the paper suggest that poverty reduction might be of a greater importance than lowering income inequality, as lower income inequality does not necessarily lead to welfare gains of the poor. In particular, I show that higher income inequality may benefit the poor via a trickle-down effect operating through the entry of firms into the market.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 1-39

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:39
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimueller, . "Inequality, Market Power, and Product Diversity," IEW - Working Papers 145, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  5. Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2003. "Inequality and Trade," NBER Working Papers 10087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
  7. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1988. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 2709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:4:p:941-960 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweim├╝ller, . "Income Distribution and Demand-induced Innovations," IEW - Working Papers 212, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Robert J. Waldmann, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-1302.
  11. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "The Volume and Composition of Trade Between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 63-80.
  12. Krishna, Kala & Yavas, Cemile, 2005. "When trade hurts: Consumption indivisibilities and labor market distortions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 413-427, December.
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