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Toward a Theory of Monopolistic Competition

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  • Mathieu PARENTI
  • Philip USHCHEV
  • Jacques-François THISSE

Abstract

We propose a general model of monopolistic competition which encompasses existing models while being exible enough to take into account new demand and competition features. Even though preferences need not be additive and/or homothetic, the market outcome is still driven by the sole variable elasticity of substitution. We impose elementary conditions on this function to guarantee empirically relevant properties of a free-entry equilibrium. Comparative statics with respect to market size and productivity shock are characterized through necessary and sucient conditions. Furthermore, we show that the attention to the constant elasticity of substitution (CES) based on its normative implications was misguided: constant mark-ups, additivity and homotheticity are neither necessary nor sucient for the market to deliver the optimum outcome. Our approach can cope with heterogeneous rms once it is recognized that the elasticity of substitution is rm-specic. Finally, we show how our set-up can be extended to cope with multiple sectors.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu PARENTI & Philip USHCHEV & Jacques-François THISSE, 2017. "Toward a Theory of Monopolistic Competition," LIDAM Reprints CORE 2764, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2764
    Note: In : Journal of Economic Theory, Volume 167, 86-115, 2017
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    More about this item

    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

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