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A Schumpeterian model of growth and inequality

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  • Hélène Latzer

Abstract

This paper contributes to the analysis of the effects of demand structure on longterm growth. Introducing non-homothetic preferences in an otherwise standard quality- model, we first show that disparities in purchasing power generate positive R&D investment by quality leaders. This result is obtained with complete equal treatment in the R&D field between the incumbent patentholder and the challengers as well as without any concavity in the R&D cost function: in our framework, the incentive for a leader to invest in R&D stems from the possibility for an incumbent having innovated twice in a row to efficiently discriminate between rich and poor consumers displaying differences in their willingness to pay for quality. We hence exemplify a so far overlooked demand-driven rationale for innovation by incumbents. We then move to analyzing the impact of inequalities on long-term growth in our quality-ladder framework, and find that a lower level of wealth disparities always leads to an increase in the long-run growth rate. Finally, we show that beyond this negative impact on growth, inequalities also influence the allocation of the overall R&D effort between incumbents and challengers: a higher level of inequalities will in most cases lead to a bigger share of the overall R&D investment to be carried out by quality leaders.

Suggested Citation

  • Hélène Latzer, 2011. "A Schumpeterian model of growth and inequality," Working Papers of BETA 2011-20, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2011-20
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    File URL: http://beta.u-strasbg.fr/WP/2011/2011-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth; Innovation; Income inequalities.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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