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Heterogeneous Mark-ups, Demand Composition, and the Inequality-Growth Relation

Author

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  • Foellmi, Reto

    (University of Zurich)

  • Josef Zweim¸ller

Abstract

We explore the relationship between inequality and demand structure in an endogenous growth model where consumers expand consumption along a hierarchy of needs. This enables us to study the impact of inequality on demand for innovative products, on their prices, and hence on research incentives. As a result, changes in inequality affect the aggregate price structure and there may be market exclusion of the poor. With exclusion, higher inequality tends to increase growth because the profit share increases. However, higher inequality due to a bigger group of poor people may reduce growth. Instead, if the innovators always sell to all, inequality has an unambiguously negative impact on growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Foellmi, Reto & Josef Zweim¸ller, 2002. "Heterogeneous Mark-ups, Demand Composition, and the Inequality-Growth Relation," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 76, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2002:76
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-1198, December.
    2. François Bourguignon, 1990. "Growth and Inequality in the Dual Model of Development: The Role of Demand Factors," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 215-228.
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    5. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-298, April.
    6. Chou, Chien-Fu & Talmain, Gabriel, 1996. "Redistribution and Growth: Pareto Improvements," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 505-523, December.
    7. repec:ubc:bricol:96-03 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1993. "A theory of real wage growth in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 243-269, December.
    9. Falkinger, Josef, 1994. "An Engelian model of growth and innovation with hierarchic consumer demand and unequal incomes," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 123-139, June.
    10. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, May.
    11. Zweimueller, Josef & Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Heterogeneous Consumers, Vertical Product Differentiation and the Rate of Innovation," Economics Series 32, Institute for Advanced Studies.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Ehrhart, 2009. "The effects of inequality on growth: a survey of the theoretical and empirical literature," Working Papers 107, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2004. "Are intellectual property rights unfair?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 129-144, February.
    3. Reto Foellmi und Josef Zweim�ller, "undated". "Inequality and Economic Growth - European Versus U.S. Experiences," IEW - Working Papers 158, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 941-960.
    5. Ling Shen, 2004. "Education, Income Distribution and Innovation," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse11_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.

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