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Monopolistic competition and optimum product selection: why and how heterogeneity matters

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  • Nocco, Antonella
  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P.
  • Salto, Matteo

Abstract

After some decades of relative oblivion, the interest in the optimality properties of monopolistic competition has recently re-emerged due to the availability of an appropriate and parsimonious framework to deal with firm heterogeneity. Within this framework we show that non-separable utility, variable demand elasticity and endogenous firm heterogeneity cause the market equilibrium to err in many ways, concerning the number of products, the size and the choice of producers, the overall size of the monopolistically competitive sector. More crucially with respect to the existing literature, we also show that the extent of the errors depends on the degree of firm heterogeneity. In particular, the inefficiency of the market equilibrium seems to be largest when selection among heterogeneous firms is needed most, that is, when there are relatively many firms with low productivity and relatively few firms with high productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Nocco, Antonella & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. & Salto, Matteo, 2013. "Monopolistic competition and optimum product selection: why and how heterogeneity matters," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51541, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:51541
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dhingra, Swati & Morrow, John, 2017. "Efficiency in large markets with firm heterogeneity," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 718-728.
    2. Iwaisako, Tatsuro, 2019. "Welfare analysis of uniform entry tax in a general equilibrium model with heterogeneous industries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 54-57.
    3. Brian C. Albrecht & Tom Phelan & Nick Pretnar, 2023. "Time Use and the Efficiency of Heterogeneous Markups," Working Papers 23-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. Swati Dhingra & John Morrow, 2019. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity under Firm Heterogeneity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 196-232.
    5. Antonella Nocco & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Matteo Salto, 2014. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 304-309, May.
    6. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2022. "Stackelberg-Nash Equilibrium and Perfect Competition in the Solow-Uzawa Growth Model," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 96, pages 315-343, January-J.
    7. Qiu, Larry D. & Zhou, Mohan & Wei, Xu, 2018. "Regulation, innovation, and firm selection: The porter hypothesis under monopolistic competition," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 638-658.
    8. Nocco, Antonella & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Salto, Matteo, 2019. "Geography, competition, and optimal multilateral trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 145-161.
    9. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2018. "An Integration of Solow’s Growth and Dixit-Stiglitz’s Monopolistic Competition Models," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 68(4), pages 3-19, October-D.
    10. Catia Montagna & Antonella Nocco, 2015. "(De)Unionization, Trade Liberalization and Selection," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 91-122, February.
    11. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2019. "Competition versus Monopolistic Competition by Integrating Solow-Uzawa and Dixit-Stiglitz," Ovidius University Annals, Economic Sciences Series, Ovidius University of Constantza, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 0(2), pages 390-400, December.
    12. Ariel Weinberger & Qian Xuefeng & Mahmut Yaşar, 2021. "Export tax rebates and resource misallocation: Evidence from a large developing country," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(4), pages 1562-1608, November.
    13. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2021. "Equilibrio de Cournot-Nash y competencia perfecta en el modelo de crecimiento de Solow-Uzawa," Revista CEA, Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano, vol. 7(15), pages 1-21, September.
    14. Bykadorov, Igor & Kokovin, Sergey, 2017. "Can a larger market foster R&D under monopolistic competition with variable mark-ups?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 663-674.
    15. Prof. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2021. "An Integration of Neoclassical Growth Theory and Economic Structural Change with Monopolistic Competition Theory," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 11(2), pages 145-164, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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