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

  • Foellmi, Reto

    (University of Zurich)

  • Josef Zweim¸ller

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.

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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 with number 76.

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Date of creation: 29 Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2002:76
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  1. 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.
  2. Zweimueller, Josef & Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Heterogeneous Consumers, Vertical Product Differentiation and the Rate of Innovation," Economics Series 32, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  6. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-98, December.
  7. Clarke, George R. G., 1992. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1064, The World Bank.
  8. repec:ubc:bricol:96-03 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762.
  10. Chou, Chien-Fu & Talmain, Gabriel, 1996. " Redistribution and Growth: Pareto Improvements," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 505-23, December.
  11. 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 274-98, April.
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