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Beyond the Arrow effect: income distribution and multi-quality firms in a Schumpeterian framework

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  • Hélène LATZER

    () (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

This paper introduces multi-quality firms within a Schumpeterian framework. Featuring non-homothetic preferences and income disparities in an otherwise standard quality-ladder model, I indeed show that the resulting differences in the willingness to pay for quality among consumers generate both positive investments in R&D by industry leaders and positive market shares for more than one quality, hence allowing for the emergence of multi-product firms within a vertical innovation framework. This positive investment in R&D by incumbents is obtained with complete equal treatment in the R&D field between the incumbent patentholder and the challengers: in our framework, the incentive for a leader to invest in R&D stems from the possibility for an incumbent having innovated twice in a row to efficiently discriminate between rich and poor consumers displaying differences in their willingness to pay for quality. I hence exemplify a so far overlooked demand-driven rationale for innovation by incumbents. I am then also able to analyze the impact of inequality both on long-term growth and on the allocation of R&D activities between challengers and incumbents. I find that redistributive policies generally lead to an increase in the long-run growth rate, and to variations in the share of the overall R&D expenditures being undertaken by incumbents.

Suggested Citation

  • Hélène LATZER, 2013. "Beyond the Arrow effect: income distribution and multi-quality firms in a Schumpeterian framework," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 941-960.
    3. Minniti Antonio, 2006. "Multi-product Firms, R&D, and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-46, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    6. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Carsten Eckel & J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 188-217.
    8. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, January.
    10. Piercarlo Zanchettin & Vincenzo Denicolò, 2009. "Leadership Cycles," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/25, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    11. Paul S. Segerstrom, 2007. "Intel Economics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 247-280, February.
    12. Zweimuller, Josef, 2000. "Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 185-206, June.
    13. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    14. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
    15. Cozzi Guido, 2007. "The Arrow Effect under Competitive R&D," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, January.
    16. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eac:articl:04/15 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:jknowl:v:8:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s13132-016-0363-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sirine Mnif, 2015. "Impact of Inequalities on Technological Changes: Case of the Developing Countries," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 5(3), pages 460-478, March.
    4. Hélène LATZER & Alexandre SIMONS, 2014. "Income distribution, multi-quality firms and patterns of trade," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2014003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Innovation; Income inequality; Multi-Product firms;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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