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Heterogeneous Consumers, Vertical Product Differentiation and the Rate of Innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Zweimueller, Josef

    (Department of Economics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)

  • Brunner, Johann K.

    (Department of Economics, University of Linz)

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of income inequality on the level of innovative activities in a model where innovations result in quality improvements. The market for quality goods is characterized by a natural oligopoly with three types of consumers - rich, middle class and poor. In general, we find that for reasons of strategic price setting a more equal distribution of income is favourable for innovation incentives. This is consistent with empirical evidence suggesting that countries with a more equal distribution of income have grown faster.

Suggested Citation

  • Zweimueller, Josef & Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Heterogeneous Consumers, Vertical Product Differentiation and the Rate of Innovation," Economics Series 32, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:32
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-32.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1996
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-564.
    3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    4. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Ted O'Donoghue & Suzanne Scotchmer & Jacques-François Thisse, 1998. "Patent Breadth, Patent Life, and the Pace of Technological Progress," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, March.
    7. Torvik, Ragnar, 1993. " Talent, Growth and Income Distribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 581-596, December.
    8. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
    9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    10. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
    11. 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.
    12. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    13. 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.
    14. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1983. "Natural Oligopolies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1469-1483, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner, 2003. "Tradeable permits - Ten key design issues," Economics working papers 2003-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner & Mathias Dufour, 2003. "Satisfaction not guaranteed-Institutions and satisfaction with democracy in Western Europe," Economics working papers 2003-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Friedrich Schneider & Kausik Chaudhuri & Sumana Chatterjee, 2003. "The Size and Development of the Indian Shadow Economy and a Comparison with other 18 Asian Countries: An Empirical Investigation," Economics working papers 2003-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Zweimuller, Josef, 2000. "Schumpeterian Entrepreneurs Meet Engel's Law: The Impact of Inequality on Innovation-Driven Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 185-206, June.
    6. Chol-Won Li., "undated". "Inequality and Growth: A Schumpeterian Perspective," Working Papers 9609, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Feb 1998.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Income Distribution; Heterogeneity; Innovation; Endogeneous Growth; Product Quality; Vertical Product Differentiation;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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