Commuting And Shopping: Determinants Of City Income Structure
We demonstrate how firm pricing strategy and determinants of household location can interact to determine city structure. We go beyond previous work on spatial income segregation by endogenizing the tradeoff between households' choice of location and shopping behavior, as well as solving for the firms' optimal pricing strategy in a general equilibrium framework. In this city, consumers and firms live on a continuous line interval. Our model consists of two types of firms; many high-cost perfectly competitive "Corner Stores" located in the Central Business District, and one large low-cost "Superstore", choosing its location and price strategically. We begin by considering a model with homogenous consumers in order to determine the strategy for the Superstore in a spatial model. Then we consider the impact of introducing different income classes to our city structure. We show how the shopping habits of the consumer population, as determined by the relative price of the Superstore and the Corner Stores, can contribute to the various income segregation outcomes described in previous literature. In addition we consider the impact of city income structure on the pricing decision of firms.
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