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Monopolistic competition and income dispersion

  • OSHARIN, Alexander
  • THISSE, Jacques-François
  • USCHEV, Philip
  • VERBUS, Valery

We develop a model of monopolistic competition that accounts for consumers’ heterogeneity in both incomes and preferences. This model makes it possible to study the implications of income redistribution on the toughness of competition. We show how the market outcome depends on the joint distribution of consumers’ tastes and incomes and obtain a closed-form solution for a symmetric equilibrium. Competition toughness is measured by the weighted average elasticity of substitution. Income redistribution generically affects the market outcome, even when incomes are redistributed across consumers with different tastes in a way such that the overall income distribution remains the same.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -2547.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-2547
Note: In : Economics Letters, 122(2), 348-352, 2014
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  1. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimueller, . "Inequality, Market Power, and Product Diversity," IEW - Working Papers 145, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721 - 765.
  3. Di Comite, Francesco & Thisse, Jacques-François & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2014. "Verti-zontal differentiation in export markets," Working Paper Series 1680, European Central Bank.
  4. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1987. "Distributions of Preferences and the 'Law of Demand.'," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 155-61, January.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Multiproduct Firms and Trade Liberalization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1271-1318.
  6. Yurko, Anna V., 2011. "How does income inequality affect market outcomes in vertically differentiated markets?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 493-503, July.
  7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. James R. Markusen, 2010. "Putting Per-Capita Income Back into Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 15903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  10. Corrado Benassi & Alessandra Chirco & Caterina Colombo, 2005. "A Model Of Monopolistic Competition With Personal Income Dispersion," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 305-317, 07.
  11. Tarasov, Alexander, 2010. "Consumer Preferences in Monopolistic Competition Models," Discussion Papers in Economics 11489, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  13. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  14. Evgeny Zhelobodko & Sergey Kokovin & Mathieu Parenti & Jacques‐François Thisse, 2012. "Monopolistic Competition: Beyond the Constant Elasticity of Substitution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2765-2784, November.
  15. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. DI COMITE, Francesco & THISSE , Jacques & ,, 2013. "Verti-zontal differentiation in export markets," CORE Discussion Papers 2013064, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Hildenbrand, Werner, 1983. "On the "Law of Demand."," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 997-1019, July.
  18. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2007. "General equilibrium models of monopolistic competition: A new approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 776-787, September.
  19. Paolo Bertoletti & Federico Etro, 2013. "Monopolistic Competition when Income Matters," DEM Working Papers Series 055, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
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