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The Retail Price of Inequality

  • Frankel, David M.
  • Gould, Eric

This paper studies the relation between a city's income distribution and its retail price level using panel data. We find that an increase in the presence of lower-middle income households, relative to poor or upper income households, is associated with lower prices. Our findings suggest that greater income inequality raises the prices that poor households face, thus making it harder for them to invest in human capital.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 11922.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Urban Economics 2001,, pp. 219-239
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11922
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1991. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Less-skilled Natives," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 201-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Goldman, Arieh & Johansson, J K, 1978. " Determinants of Search for Lower Prices: An Empirical Assessment of the Economics of Information Theory," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 176-86, December.
  6. Donaldson, Loraine & Strangways, Raymond S, 1973. "Can Ghetto Groceries Price Competitively and Make a Profit?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(1), pages 61-65, January.
  7. MacDonald, James M. & Nelson, Paul Jr., 1991. "Do the poor still pay more? Food price variations in large metropolitan areas," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 344-359, November.
  8. Alcaly, Roger E & Klevorick, Alvin K, 1971. "Food Prices in Relation to Income Levels in New York City," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(4), pages 380-97, October.
  9. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  10. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  11. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, April.
  12. Carlson, John A & Gieseke, Robert J, 1983. " Price Search in a Product Market," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 357-65, March.
  13. Kunreuther, Howard, 1973. "Why the Poor May Pay More for Food: Theoretical and Empirical Evidence," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(3), pages 368-83, July.
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