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

  • Hélène LATZER

    ()

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

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.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2013004.

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Length: 31
Date of creation: 19 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2013004
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  1. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimüller, . "Income Distribution and Demand-induced Innovations," IEW - Working Papers 212, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Josef Zweimueller, . "Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," IEW - Working Papers 009, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Segerstrom, Paul S., 1999. "Intel Economics," Working Paper Series 524, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    • 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, 02.
  4. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  5. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2009. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 15329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Carsten Eckel & J Peter Neary, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Flexible Manufacturing in the Global Economy," Working Papers 200608, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. Vincenzo Denicolò & Piercarlo Zanchettin, 2010. "Leadership Cycles," Working Papers 2010.35, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, 04.
  10. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  15. 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.
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