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Toward a theory of monopolistic competition

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  • PARENTI, Mathieu

    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium; NRU-Higher School of Economics, Russia)

  • USHCHEV, Philip

    (NRU-Higher School of Economics, Russia)

  • THISSE, Jacques-François

    (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium; NRU-Higher School of Economics, Russia; CEPR)

Abstract

We propose a general model of monopolistic competition, which encompasses existing models while being flexible enough to take into account new demand and competition features. The basic tool we use to study the market outcome is the elasticity of substitution at a symmetric consumption pattern, which depends on both the per capita consumption and the total mass of varieties. We impose intuitive conditions on this function to guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a free-entry equilibrium. Comparative statics with respect to population size, GDP per capita and productivity shock are characterized through necessary and sufficient conditions. Finally, we show how our approach can be generalized to the case of a multisector economy and extended to cope with heterogeneous firms and consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • PARENTI, Mathieu & USHCHEV, Philip & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2014. "Toward a theory of monopolistic competition," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2014046, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2014046
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    monopolistic competition; general equilibrium; additive preferences; homothetic preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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