IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Schumpeterian model of growth and inequality


  • Hélène Latzer


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Reto Foellmi & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "Income Distribution and Demand-Induced Innovations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 941-960.
    3. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    4. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Paul S. Segerstrom, 2007. "Intel Economics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 247-280, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    8. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Cozzi Guido, 2007. "The Arrow Effect under Competitive R&D," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, January.
    10. Federico Etro, 2004. "Innovation by leaders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 281-303, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Growth; Innovation; Income inequalities.;

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2011-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.