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Toward a Theory of Monopolistic Competition

Author

Listed:
  • Mathieu Parenti

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Philip Ushchev

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Jacques-Francois Thisse

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

Abstract

We propose a general model of monopolistic competition which encompasses existing models while being exible enough to take into account new demand and competition features. Even though preferences need not be additive and/or homothetic, the market outcome is still driven by the sole variable elasticity of substitution. We impose elementary conditions on this function to guarantee empirically relevant properties of a free-entry equilibrium. Comparative statics with respect to market size and productivity shock are characterized through necessary and sucient conditions. Furthermore, we show that the attention to the constant elasticity of substitution (CES) based on its normative implications was misguided: constant mark-ups, additivity and homotheticity are neither necessary nor sucient for the market to deliver the optimum outcome. Our approach can cope with heterogeneous rms once it is recognized that the elasticity of substitution is rm-specic. Finally, we show how our set-up can be extended to cope with multiple sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathieu Parenti & Philip Ushchev & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2016. "Toward a Theory of Monopolistic Competition," HSE Working papers WP BRP 121/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:121/ec/2016
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    4. Peter Neary & Monika Mrázová & Mathieu Parenti, 2015. "Technology, Demand, And The Size Distribution Of Firms," Economics Series Working Papers 774, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    monopolistic competition; general equilibrium; additive preferences; homothetic preferences.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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