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Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations

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  • Foellmi, Reto
  • Zweimüller, Josef

Abstract

We utilize Schmookler’s (1966) concept of demand-induced invention to study the role of income inequality in an endogenous growth model. As rich consumers can satisfy more wants than poor consumers, both prices and market sizes for new products, as well as their evolution over time, are determined by the income distribution. We show how a change in the distribution of income affects the incentive to innovate and hence long-run growth. In general, less inequality tends to discourage the incentive to innovate, but this depends on the nature of the redistribution.

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  • Foellmi, Reto & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4985
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    demand composition; growth; inequality; price distortion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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